EUROCONTROL Performance Review Commission issues its latest ATM Cost-Effectiveness Benchmarking Report

- Brussels, Belgium.

The EUROCONTROL Performance Review Commission (PRC) has published its fourteenth ATM Cost-Effectiveness (ACE) Benchmarking Report. The ACE Report analyses the cost-effectiveness and productivity of 37 European Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) in 2014, the latest year for which actual financial data are available, based on information submitted in July 2015. The report also examines changes in their cost-effectiveness over 2009-2014, with a strong focus on underlying performance drivers such as Air Traffic Controllers’ productivity, employment costs and support costs. In addition it provides an outlook of the performance planned over the five-year cycle covering 2015-2019.

This year, the report presents a ten-year analysis of the changes in ANSPs’ cost-effectiveness and its main economic drivers over 2004-2014. This covers the period before and after the economic recession (2004-2008); it aims at providing an understanding of how the pan-European ANS system reacted to the global recession which affected the aviation community in 2009. Over this ten-years period, ATM/CNS provision costs rose by +0.4% p.a. which was significantly less than the +1.4% p.a. increase in traffic (measured in composite flight-hours). As a result, unit ATM/CNS provision costs decreased by -1.0% p.a. (real terms) between 2004 and 2014.

“ANSP management, ATM policy makers, regulators and NSAs should pay particular attention to the findings of the ACE report in order to identify potential areas for improvement, and also to understand how cost-effectiveness performance evolved over time,” says Ralph Riedle, the PRC Chairman.

At system level, the analysis shows that ATM/CNS provision costs remained fairly constant in 2014, while traffic increased by +2%, resulting in a decrease in unit ATM/CNS provision costs (-2%) compared to 2013. As a result, 2014 records the lowest unit costs level achieved since the start of the ACE benchmarking analysis in 2001, the year when the Permanent Commission of EUROCONTROL adopted specific economic information disclosure requirements for monopoly ANSPs. However, in 2014, ATFM delays increased somewhat, denting the overall economic cost-effectiveness result.

Ralph Riedle further recognises that “looking ahead, with traffic set to grow even if in a moderate way, it is key that ANSPs continue to manage their costs, while also providing sufficient ATC capacity to achieve a balanced result for their customers.”


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