Skyguide achieves new record 95% punctuality for 2009

Swiss ATC provider Skyguide managed and monitored 1.15 million flights in 2009, some 7.2% fewer than the 1.24 million of the previous year.

Skyguide handled 95% of its daily traffic volume on time in 2009 – some 30% fewer delayed flights than the previous year. The favourable performance can be partly attributed to the general decline in air traffic volumes, but is also due to the actions taken by skyguide to increase airspace and system capacity.

These have included a further intensification of the company’s efforts to recruit new air traffic controllers. Skyguide’s training facilities were at full capacity in 2009, with a total of 123 controllers undergoing training and 28 completing their courses during the year. Further enhancements to operating processes and a more flexible use of the capacities available also played their part in the encouraging punctuality result.

2009 saw a substantial decline in air traffic volumes, as a result of the global financial and economic crisis. With an average of some 3 143 controlled flights a day and a daily peak for the year of 3 792 flights (on 10 July), skyguide’s traffic levels for 2009 were well below the 3 380 average and 4 153 peak (on 27 June) of the previous year. There is currently no prospect of any volume recovery: traffic levels at the end of 2009 were also below their prior-year equivalents.

Flight movement numbers are a key means of determining the workload being handled by an air traffic management unit. Generally speaking, the traffic declines in 2009 were experienced both at skyguide’s Zurich and Geneva area control centres, which manage and monitor en-route traffic (down 8.1%) and at Arrival and Departure Control, which handle all arriving and departing traffic at airports (down 5.5%).

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