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Summer traffic demand increases network pressure

The Network Manager, nominated by the European Commission and provided by Eurocontrol has reported a record increase in traffic during June with a resultant increase in delays in the June 2018 Network Operations Report.

Traffic in June 2018 increased by 4.1 per cent compared to June 2017 and was in line with the high forecast. The last week of June was the busiest ever week for the network, with a record of 36,825 flights on Friday 29 June. Twelve states added more than 50 flights daily to the network with Turkey, Greece and Germany as the top contributors.

Total ATFM delays increased by 110.1 per cent in June 2018 compared to June 2017. En route ATFM delays (111,008 min/daily) increased by 150.2 per cent mainly due to ATC capacity/staffing, weather and industrial action; airport ATFM delays (23,926 min/daily) increased by 20.4 per cent mainly due to weather and aerodrome capacity. The average daily flights with an en route ATFM delay of at least 15 minutes increased by 158.3 per cent compared to June 2017. All weekend days, but one, had ATFM delay/flight over 5 minutes.

Details of the report include:

En route:

  • 800,000 minutes of weather delays throughout the central area of the network in the first part of the month and particularly in Karlsruhe UAC;
  • Over 400,000 minutes of delay due to ATC industrial action in Marseille ACC;
  • High ATC capacity delays in Karlsruhe UAC;
  • ATC staffing issues in Marseille, Maastricht and Reims ACCs.


  • Seasonal weather impacted operations at Frankfurt/Main and Amsterdam/Schiphol airports;
  • There were capacity issues at Lisbon, London/Gatwick and Amsterdam/Schiphol airports.

The average en route ATFM delay per flight in the NM area in June was 3.25 min/flt, which is well above the corresponding monthly guideline value of 0.92 min/flt. The average YTD en route ATFM delay per flight in 2018 in the NM area is 1.49 min/flt which is more than three times the corresponding guideline value of 0.40 min/flt.

The top 20 delay generating locations for the reporting month with respect to total ATFM delays are listed below. Figures are the average daily delays in minutes for the individual locations.

  • High en route capacity delays in Karlsruhe UAC, and to a lesser extent in Langen, Reims, Brest, Maastricht and London ACCs; 
  • En route weather issues in Karlsruhe, Langen, Reims, Maastricht and Vienna ACCs;
  • En route ATC staffing issues in Marseille, Maastricht, Reims, Karlsruhe, Brest and Athens ACCs;
  • ATC industrial action in Marseille ACC generated disruptions in Marseille ACC with additional delays in Reims ACC;
  • Implementation of Extended Computer Display system in London TC;
  • Delays at Barcelona airport due to BRAIN (Barcelona RNAV Approach Innovations) implementation in Barcelona TMA.