15 June 2009

Report from CANSO highlights air traffic management inefficiencies

The Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) web site, which has be revamped, contains an important new report ATM Global Environment Efficiency Goals for 2050 (.pdf) completed in December 2008.

The report highlights the inefficiency of air traffic management (ATM) in Europe. A key finding is that the European air traffic control system is estimated to be 89-93% efficient compared with the Australian system at 98-99%. Reducing this inefficiency has an important role to play in reducing aircraft emissions.

"Efficiency" of 100% in this context is defined as aircraft being able to take the shortest (great circle) route between A and B at the most appropriate altitude and speed for fuel efficiency, and not be delayed. The report says that safety, weather and noise considerations mean that 100% efficiency is virtually impossible to achieve.

The global ATM efficiency is estimated to be 92-94%. It is good to have some hard facts that show the number used by UK official sources, whilst about correct for flights within Europe, is not appropriate in a global context
(see previous post).

The CANSO report also features what is being done to improve ATM performance with SESAR in Europe, NextGen in the United States, and ASPIRE (see previous post) in the Asia-Pacific region.

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