In the first quarter 2017, air traffic in the EUROCONTROL area (ESRA08) continued to grow. On average, the number of controlled flights increased by 3.9% in the first quarter 2017 which corresponds to 907 additional flights per day. At the same time, average daily en-route service units (SU) grew by 5.7% in the first quarter 2017, compared to the same period in 2016.
As was the case in 2016, the main driver of the observed traffic growth in Q1 2017 remained the Pan-European low cost traffic segment.
With the exception of DHMI (Turkey), all Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) reported a traffic increase in Q1 2017, compared to the same period in 2016. In absolute terms, NATS (UK), DSNA (France), DFS (Germany), ENAIRE (Spain), and Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC) reported the highest traffic growth in Q1 2017 compared to Q1 2016.
The preliminary 2016(P) safety data became available at the end of the first quarter 2017.
Overall the 2016(P) safety data shows a reduction in the number of accidents involving aircraft above 2,250 kg maximum take-off weight (MTOW). In 2016 (P), there were 67 accidents in the EUROCONTROL area (91 in 2015) of which 15 were fatal (18 in 2015).
Based on preliminary data, there were no reported accidents with direct or indirect ATM contribution in 2016 (1 non-fatal ground collision in 2015).
The more detailed analysis of the ATM-related incidents suggests an increase in the number of risk bearing (Separation minima infringements (SMIs) and Runway incursions (RIs) but a decrease in the number of Unauthorised Penetrations of Airspace (UPAs) and ATM Specific Occurrences in 2016(P).
In relative terms, the rate of occurrences in the EUROCONTROL area stayed almost the same as in 2015: there were 15 SMIs and 28 UPAs per hundred thousand controlled flight hours in the airspace and less than one (0.9) RIs per ten thousand movements at airports reported in 2016.
In the 1st quarter 2017, total en-route ATFM delays in the EUROCONTROL area decreased by 42% compared to the same period in 2016. As a result, average en-route ATFM delay per flight decreased from 0.67 in Q1 2016 to 0.38 in Q1 2017.
The main reasons for the en-route ATFM delay reduction in the first quarter 2017 were substantially lower strike related delays and less delays due to events such as the ERATO implementation in France in 2016.
Overall, 95.5% of the controlled flights in the EUROCONTROL area were not affected by ATFM delays in the first quarter 2017. Compared to the first quarter in 2016, the share of flights affected by en-route ATFM delays decreased by 0.8 percent points to 2.0%. At the same time, the share of flights affected by airport ATFM delays decreased from 2.8% in Q1 2016 to 2.6% in Q1 2017.
Despite a notable improvement in France, average en-route delay per flight in Q1-2017 was again highest in France (DSNA), followed by Portugal (Continental), and Cyprus.
In the first quarter 2017, horizontal flight efficiency improved compared to the same period last year, despite the observed increase in traffic. The efficiency of actual flight trajectories increased from 95.4% in Q1 2016 to 95.6% in Q1 2017.
In absolute terms, the two Istanbul airports showed the highest decrease in traffic in the first quarter 2017, followed by Rome Fiumicino in Q1-2017. Amsterdam, Brussels and Munich reported the highest increase.
In the first quarter 2017, average airport arrival ATFM delay at the top 30 airports was slightly below average airport ATFM arrival delay in Q1 in 2016. Whereas capacity related delay decreased notably, there has been a substantial increase in weather-related delays in Q1 2017.
Due to data availability, this section is only updated on an annual basis.