Situation in Greek Airspace: ECs Network Manager takes action

Over the past weeks, flights to/from or overflying Greece have been subject to intermittent high delays. These delays are in large part due to a decrease in capacity from Greek air traffic control services, partially as a result of industrial action.
EUROCONTROL was nominated by the European Commission as Network Manager in July 2011 with the objective of improving the performance of the European network. It is therefore working closely with the Greek Civil Aviation Authority, as well as with other air traffic management organisations in the region to limit, to the extent possible, the impact of these disruptions on airlines.

The Network Manager has mobilised its resources and put in place appropriate mitigation measures to manage disruptions to the European network. In particular, it is:
ensuring on a daily basis the most effective use of the limited capacity within Greek airspace in function of the number of flights wishing to operate in the area;
coordinating with neighbouring countries to make available additional ATC capacity and routings circumventing Greek airspace to the north and proposing these to airlines;
working with authorities and with NATO in the southern and eastern Mediterranean to identify and introduce additional routes that will be made available to aircraft flying to/from the Middle East and points beyond;
providing updated information to airline operators and discussing with them specific measures to reduce delays when they are flying in the region.

"This is one of the first major challenges we have faced as Network Manager", said Jacques Dopagne, Director of Network Management at EUROCONTROL. "We very much appreciate the cooperation and support we have received from all our partners as we carry out these new functions in what is a very demanding time for aviation in this region."

Greek airspace background:
On a daily basis, approximately 1,900 flights enter Greek airspace.
Of these, 38% are overflights and 62% are departing/landing in Greek airports.
Annually, there are approximately 700 000 flights.
Greek airspace is usually comprised of 8 sectors, split over 2 Area Control Centres.
There are approximately 530 air traffic controllers working in Greek airspace (2009 figures), covering a controlled airspace of 538,000 km2.
Press Office


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