The Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) has slammed Europe's lack of progress in rationalising its fragmented air traffic control (ATC) system, which it says has resulted in flight delays reaching "overwhelming proportions". The group says the delays will cost the industry at least $10 billion this year.

The industry lobby group, which has 80 members and is funded by the International Air Transport Association, Boeing and Airbus, is calling on European transport ministers to approve the full implementation of Eurocontrol's air traffic management (ATM) ATM-2000+ Strategy at their next meeting in January.

ATAG executive director John Meredith, speaking in Leipzig, Germany, where ATAG held its annual meeting, said the organisation's latest campaign - launched under the slogan, "Europe can't wait any longer," - is aimed at "persuading the transport ministers to get on with the things necessary to get rid of the delays".

ATM2000+ is aimed at achieving "one airspace for Europe", which is unconstrained by national boundaries and planned and operated as such. The continent has 35 separate ATC systems and 68 centres, and "the nightmare of trying to co-ordinate their operations is only now becoming a reality", says ATAG.

As well as pressing for the implementation of ATM2000+ ATAG is calling for Eurocontrol, in conjunction with the European Commission, to be given regulatory powers to enforce its decisions in member states.

Source: Flight International