More than 210,000 flights in Europe were delayed in June according to Eurocontrol.

Rafael Schvartzman

Deficiencies in European air traffic management (ATM) causing delays are unacceptable, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said.

According to Eurocontrol, in June more than 210,000 flights, 20% of the total, were delayed. The average delay time was 17 minutes. 

Delays are often caused by a lack of air traffic control capacity, caused by poor staffing and rostering, and an inability to deal with disruptive events.

With the correct investment, planning, and a change in mindset by governments and ANSPs, another summer of delays can be avoided

IATA said that European air traffic management should make it a priority to address “unnecessary costs” and flight delays for passengers due to “inefficient” airspace routes and bottlenecks.

“The busy summer travel season in Europe has begun and both travelers and airlines should be able to get to their destinations on time,” said Rafael Schvartzman, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Europe.

“The current situation is simply unacceptable. Airlines are making strides to reduce their environmental impact but in Europe they are being forced to produce unnecessary emissions every day. 

“Fortunately, solutions exist. With the correct investment and planning, and a change in mindset by both governments and ANSPs, another summer of wasted emissions and delays can be avoided.”

In a statement, IATA called on the European Commission, European Governments and air navigation service providers (ANSPs) to reform outdated work practices and deploy staff where required, as well as recruit additional staff to fill any gaps.

The organization also called for a modernization of ATM infrastructure, further Single European Sky research on ATM, and penalties for ANSPs that fail to deliver agreed capacity targets under the European Performance and Charging Scheme.