Weekly review #134 - 26th January

Picture of Vincent Lambercy
Posted by Vincent Lambercy

Let's start with some positive news! FAB CE states are set to enjoy continued recovery in the coming weeks. Indeed, in the first two months of 2022 air traffic is set to return to around 75 percent of 2019 pre-pandemic levels.


In Spain, there is continued progress as DSNA and ENAIRE work to consolidate their airspace management. The directors of each organisation recently met in Barcelona to work on furthering operating procedures for cross-border airspace. This includes regions between Barcelona and Madrid and the air traffic control centres in Bordeaux, Brest and Marseille. Here is the full story so you can learn more.


There is exciting news from the Middle East as Bahrain International Airport becomes one of the only airports in the world to launch a fully functioning backup Airport Operations Centre (APOC). It's sure to give the airport added resiliency and flexibility in the future. 


For those of you interested in research and development, there's an interesting article regarding high-altitude flight. In the piece, Henk Hof, Eurocontrol and project coordinator of the ESAR 3 JU ECHO project, shares how their team is working on a concept of operations for higher airspace. Here's the full article if this sounds interesting.

Finally, there's a new report that has assessed the ‘Drone Readiness Index (DRI)’ of countries across the globe. The top three countries most prepare for drone operations are Australia, Belgium and Norway.


ANSP news

  • Digitalization of aviation – the leitmotif of Polish leadership in the A6 Alliance - The two-year presidency of the PANSA in the A6 Alliance, which brings together the largest European air navigation institutions, has come to an end. PANSA CEO Janusz Janiszewski assumed the position just before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent gigantic crisis in aviation. Nevertheless, it was a time of intensive development of the industry in terms of digitalization and building the Single European Sky.
  • “Air traffic recovery in FAB CE States continuing but complex” – latest eight week forecast - In the first two months of 2022 overall traffic is forecast to recover to around 75% of 2019 pre-pandemic levels, though with wide variations between States.
  • ENAIRE to chair the A6 Alliance in 2022 - ENAIRE’s Director General, Ángel Luis Arias, took over the rotating presidency of the A6 Alliance at the last meeting of the CEOs Steering Board.
  • ENAIRE and DSNA meet with EUROCONTROL in Barcelona to consolidate their airspace management - CANSO - Florian Guillermet and Ángel Luis Arias, the respective directors of DSNA and ENAIRE met at the Barcelona Air Traffic Control Centre to consolidate the progress made to coordinate and improve the operating procedures for the cross-border airspace of ENAIRE and DSNA in order to improve the current interface on which the various air traffic flows between the Barcelona and Madrid Air Traffic Control Centres and the centres in Bordeaux, Brest and Marseille.
  • New Board of Directors starts at skeyes - Following the appointment by the Council of Ministers, the new members of the skeyes Board of Directors take up their duties at a first meeting this week. The position of Chairman of the Board of Directors is entrusted to Mr Laurent Vrijdaghs.
  • Another phase in the Free Route Airspace implementation - Mats - On 27 January MATS will achieve yet another important Single European Sky milestone in its development of the upper airspace to enable airlines and other operators to use the shortest possible routes and trajectories when overflying the Malta FIR.

Airports news

Market news

Reports and data

  • EUROCONTROL Data Snapshot #24 - The 24th EUROCONTROL Data Snapshot is here, focusing on COVID-19's impact on the reversal of a long-running trend and on the renewal of the passenger fleet.
  • NAV CANADA reports December traffic figures - In December 2021 weighted charging units increased by an average of 69.4 percent compared to the same month in 2020. As compared to the same month in fiscal 2019, December 2021 weighted charging units decreased by an average of 20.1 percent.
  • 2021. Air traffic recovers, but year closes 46% below 2019 - NAV Portugal - Compared to 2019, the pre-pandemic reference year, traffic fell by 45.6%. NAV Portugal controlled 443.6 thousand flights during 2021, 45.6% less than the total traffic controlled in 2019, the last pre-pandemic year and the reference year for civil aviation. Compared to 2020, there was a 28% recovery in air traffic in Portugal over the past year.
  • Lithuanian airports’ aviation traffic results for 2021: the period of rapid recovery - In 2021, Lithuanian airports handled more than 34,000 flights, an increase of 15% compared to the previous year. Vilnius Airport handled more than 25,000 flights (21% more than in 2020), Kaunas Airport almost 7,000 flights (12% more than in 2020) and Palanga Airport more than 2,000 flights (24% less).

Research and innovation

  • Making space for new high altitude entrants - SESAR JU - The higher airspace is no longer exclusive to space rockets and military spy planes, but hosts an expanding range of long-endurance balloons, high altitude platform stations, supersonic and hypersonic aircraft. With missions varying from connectivity and surveillance to passenger transport and satellite services, these vehicles with vastly different operating characteristics present a new airspace management challenge. In this article, Henk Hof, Eurocontrol and project coordinator of the SESAR 3 JU ECHO project, explains how the project partners are developing a concept of operations for the higher airspace.