THE EUROPEAN air-navigation safety organisation Eurocontrol has predicted an average annual growth rate of 4.5% in instrument-flight-rules (IFR) operations up to 2001.

This represents about 6.9 million additional IFR flights over this period in the area covered by Eurocontrol in 1994. This is calculated from growth rates for individual states, which vary between 2.6% and 8.6%.

The organisation goes on to forecast a 3.5% average annual growth in IFR flights between 2000 and 2010, leading to a predicted 9.4 million such flights in 2010. The 1994 figure was 5.067 million IFR flights in Eurocontrol's area - an increase of 5% on the previous year.

Eurocontrol says that the predictions reflect a relatively favourable economic situation, taking into account the development of regional links and an increase in frequencies because of the liberalisation of European air transport, and allowing for strong competition with trains on short-haul routes.

Source: Flight International