By David Learmount at Farnborough air show

Eurocontrol is relieved that aircraft manufacturers are opting to fit smart communications and navigation systems as standard because it believes skies above Europe must become more efficient quickly. The agency has calculated that Europe's air traffic management (ATM) system capacity must increase by 25% within five years or delays will increase.

"From the evidence at Farnborough, aircraft manufacturers are thinking more and more about integrating the aircraft of the future into the air traffic management system," says George Paulson, Eurocontrol's director of ATM programmes. "As we see from the ever-increasing number of flights, airline companies are responding to market demand, adding approximately 1,600 daily flights each year."

Eurocontrol is looking to new technologies such as precision area- navigation systems, datalink and Mode S in the medium term, says Paulson. To deal with the increase over the next five years, Eurocontrol is running the Dynamic Management of the European Airspace Network programme to ensure efficient use of airspace and existing systems.

Source: Flight International