Europe has been in the grips of a heatwave for a little more than a year. But there’s another problem that has the continent in a vice-like grip, and that’s travel delays.
Passengers from countries across Europe are facing massive delays in travel, with airports and airlines being the worst affected. In fact, the delays have been so bad that airlines across the continent have made losses in the millions.
But with things getting out of hand and no resolution in sight, the International Air Transport Association has had to intervene, calling out to the EU to implement measures that can reduce travel delays.
Delays make the IATA angry
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is an international agency made of representatives from 290 global airlines who service over 117 countries in the world. In an interview with the press, Regional Vice President of IATA’s Europe division, Mr. Rafael Schvartzman, stated that many European countries are unnecessarily allowing easily-avoidable delays to affect the quality of internal and international air travel.
In fact, according to research by the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol), over 210,000 flights were in operation in Europe in June 2019. Of these, 20% experienced delays, with the average delay time being 17 minutes. The reasons stated by airlines ranged from poor weather conditions and a lack of fuel to staff being on strike.
According to the Eurocontrol report, the three places which accounted for the highest number of delays were Austria’s Vienna Upper Area Control, Germany’s Karlsruhe Upper Area Control, and France’s Marseille Upper Area Control.
Delays not the only problem, emissions worry authorities too
Airline delays are only one of the many problems worrying the IATA. The other major concern the organisation has is the amount of carbon emission European airlines are currently releasing into the atmosphere.
The European airline industry’s massive carbon emissions have been found to make up 3% of the continent’s total greenhouse emissions and 2% of global emissions. According to reports by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Europe’s aviation greenhouse emissions could increase by 300%-700% by 2050 if steps aren’t taken to mitigate this.
In the wake of climate change protests and greater environmental awareness, the IATA has proposed certain steps to the EU and regional ANSPs to reduce both delays and carbon emissions.
All European governments have been asked to look-over and throw out outdated aviation regulations and set-up reformed rules for airlines. The IATA has also recommended that the EU implement anAirspace Architecture Programme that can provide consistent guidelines to the aviation providers in each of the EU countries.
The IATA has also proposed that European air traffic management guidelines be reformed and a Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) project be initiated. This has been done to facilitate a massive overhaul of Europe’s air traffic management system and expand the scope of responsibilities of the European Network Manager.
Finally, IATA has requested the EU and ANSPs to have strict penalties for any airlines that fail to comply with the operational and environmental regulations stated under the European Performance and Charging Scheme.