Swedish game changer aims to break into the European air traffic services market

- Stockholm, Sweden.

The privately held Swedish air traffic service provider ACR Aviation Capacity Resources is stepping up its international expansion, and aims to seriously break into the European market. Marek Bekier, a Swiss Industry veteran, will lead ACR’s venture in Europe as Senior Vice President Europe – a newly created position.

ACR currently manages air traffic control services at 14 Swedish airports of which the largest are Stockholm-Skavsta and Stockholm-Västerås. In the long term, the goal is to establish ACR as a leading player in the European market.

Competitive tendering of air traffic services in Sweden was authorized in 2010 when the new Swedish Aviation Act came into force. This meant that the monopoly of the Civil Aviation Administration (LFV) was broken. Since 2010 ACR, Sweden’s and Europe’s first private provider of air traffic services, has won 14 of the 17 procurements the company has participated in.

A total of 20 Swedish airports are subject to the deregulation. This deregulation is seen as a role model in Europe, and many markets are expected to follow.

“The Swedish deregulation is a success, and airports have been able to reduce the costs of air traffic services by approximately 30-40 per cent with documented enhanced safety. It has echoed around Europe, and the trend towards permitting competition in other markets is strong. Many airports in Europe have cost-effectiveness problems or need to become more profitable”, says ACR’s founder and CEO Wilhelm Wohlfahrt.

To seize the opportunity that opens in Europe ACR employs Marek Bekier, who is a highly experienced professional with a large international network. Mr Bekier gets the title Senior Vice President Europe and has previously worked for the Swiss national air navigation service provider skyguide. He comes recently from the position as Manager of the aviation consultancy Integra Consult A/S in Norway.

”The newly created position means that I will lead ACR’s expansion in Europe, and there are great opportunities for us. I have a large international network, and I know there are many in the industry who are curiously looking at ACR’s success in Sweden”, says Mr Bekier.

ACR not only challenges the state monopolies in Europe but also aims to change the entire playing field. This means that ACR can just as easily be hired as a subcontractor to the national air traffic service providers (ASNP), and therefore need not to be seen as a competitor.

”Since ACR entered the market, air traffic services in Europe has started to change, and competition or cooperation across national borders become increasingly common. An example of this is that the air traffic services at Gatwick Airport have been taken over by the German ANSP from NATS”, says Mr Bekier.

The idea with ACR was to create a game changer in the air traffic services industry with effective administration in combination with innovation. The success lies in providing more cost-effective air traffic services with a strong customer focus, higher quality and sustained safety. Savings are made through both a significantly more efficient organization and a larger share of operational staff compared to the traditional players.

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