Business aviation flight plan handling: EUROCONTROL’s guidelines to better fit into the Network picture
The COVID-19 crisis continues to severely impact the freedom of movements in Europe. Member States unilaterally impose travel restrictions, travel bans, tests and quarantine. This heavily hit the airline industry which has still not fully recovered even during the usually busy summer holiday season. Its traffic remained at around 45% of the 2019 levels.
With the major drop in airlines’ traffic, the level of delays has been obviously close to zero in comparison to last year’s summer which had been chaotic in terms of delays. While Business Aviation was also impacted during the lockdown, our sector reached good traffic records in the course of the summer (e.g 0% variation compared to 2019 levels on September 5th ).While delays were close to zero, the Network Manager identified capacity constraints and delays at some famous summer destinations, some of which concerned unscheduled flights due to non-adherence to Calculated Take Off Time (CTOT) and to Target Time Over (TTO).
Business aviation flights are by nature on demand and flexibility is a key component of the service it delivers to customers. Nevertheless, the European Network Manager Operations Centre (ENMOC) has invited the Business aviation sector to adhere to flight plans, CTOT and TTO as much as possible to avoid capacity constraints at the destination airports. EBAA and ENMOC worked together on a best practice guide to help pilots, dispatchers, handling agents to minimize delays, maximise flight efficiency, reduce capacity constraints.
Travel flexibility for the passengers will always remain a key feature of the service delivered by Business aviation. Arriving on time and avoiding holding patterns at the airport of destination is a crucial part of our added value. Business aviation is a significant part of the overall IFR traffic and has an opportunity to better position itself in the overall European Network picture. The ENMOC also invites Business Aviation’s operators to share the contact details of scheduling and flight planning /OCC H24 postholders in order to improve the communication channels in case of emergency.
Those interested are invited to write to the Network Manager’s Aircraft Operator Liaison Officers to firstname.lastname@example.org.