ENAIRE recovered 94.8% of flights in July compared to the record levels of 2019
The trend in air traffic puts the number of flights managed by ENAIRE throughout Spain at levels very close to those prior to the pandemic. ENAIRE managed nearly 210,000 flights (209,258) in July, which is just 5.2% below the average for the entire network for the same month in 2019, a record year for traffic before the effects of COVID took hold in 2020.
This figure means that ENAIRE, the national air navigation service provider, recovered 94.8% of flights in July compared to 2019 levels.
This recovery in the number of flights in Spain in July is 7.8 percentage points higher than the average recorded throughout Europe, which saw a decrease in July of 13.0% with respect to 2019.
ENAIRE managed nearly 210,000 flights in the seventh month of the year In July 2022, domestic traffic (41,050 flights) recovered to nearly 100% (99.4%) compared to the same month in 2019. International flights recovered to 91.8% (122,375), and overflights (those that do not depart from or land at a Spanish airport) to 99.5% (45,833).
There was a notable increase in the number of flights managed by the Seville control centre in July, 44,688 (7.6% more than in the same month in 2019), marking the fourth consecutive monthly increase.
In Palma, the number of monthly increases now stands at five, with 48,534 flights managed in July, 3.7% more than in the same month in 2019.
The Canary Islands is already exceeding 2019 levels, with 30,090 flights in July, an increase of 0.4%.
Barcelona, with 108,472 flights, was the ENAIRE control centre with the most flights managed, 1.8% fewer, although domestic flights (19,054) rose by 6.5%. The Madrid Control Centre recorded 104,619 flights, 6.8% fewer.
A comparison between the flights managed by ENAIRE in July 2022 and those in the same period in 2021 reveals an increase of 39.8%.
Cumulative data for 2022
In the first seven months of the year, ENAIRE managed nearly 1.1 million flights, 11.4% fewer than in the same period in 2019, of which 628,221 were international (-12.6%), 234,125, domestic (-7.1%) and 235,432 overflights (-12.2%).
A comparison of the flights managed by ENAIRE from January to July with those for the same period in 2021 shows an increase of 123.8%.
2022 Summer Plan
During the summer months, from June to September, the number of flights is expected to exceed 93% of the numbers reported in the same period in 2019, surpassing 790,000 flights. In the control centres of the Southern Region and Balearic Islands, this percentage is considerably higher, exceeding the record figures for 2019.
As part of its 2022 Summer Plan, ENAIRE is developing and implementing a series of technical and operational initiatives and measures across its entire Network and specific in each of the Regions, so that it can deal with the high season under the best conditions to manage traffic peaks that are already exceeding those of 2019, while maintaining the highest levels of safety at all times.
"The forecasts for this year point to a 93% recovery in the number of flights compared to pre-COVID levels". So says ENAIRE's Operations Manager, Xavier Benavent, who details that, by type of flight, the forecast is for a recovery of 97% in domestic flights, 94% in overflights (those that do not take off from or land at a Spanish airport) and 91% in international flights.
In addition to the technical and operational measures, the Summer Plan includes increasing the number of controllers.
Increase in controller staffing
ENAIRE has reinforced the number of air traffic controllers in response of a summer season that is rivalling the record number of flights in 2019.
By region, the staffing and the increase in controller numbers (those that are qualified and available for duty) are as follows: South, 248 controllers (+8.77%); Canary Islands, 258 (+6.61%); East, 510 (+7.82%), Balearic Islands, 197 (+5.91%) and Central-North, 628 (+1.45%).
The staffing in each region strictly reflects the air traffic management needs assigned to each region.
In all, the number of active controllers across the network has increased by 5.32% since 2019.
ENAIRE's strategy of increasing the number of air traffic controllers to meet traffic forecasts has been in place since 2016 and will continue. In fact, ENAIRE had a total of 1,968 air traffic controllers in 2016 (including active controllers and those in management and support roles). The total number of controllers currently stands at 2,117 (7.6% more).
Along these lines, ENAIRE's Personnel Manager, José Luis Meler, explains that: "The implementation of the planning laid out in the successive strategic plans, from 2016 to 2021, required a great effort from ENAIRE, which managed five calls for air traffic controller positions, at the rate of one call per year (except in 2020 as a result of the pandemic). This has all resulted in a total of 528 new air traffic controller positions throughout this period, with ENAIRE managing their training and qualification processes at its corresponding control centres and towers. This year, we will begin the process of filling the 137 new vacancies recently announced by the Minister of Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda, which will see a total of 665 new controllers hired between 2016 and 2022".
As a result of this strategy, ENAIRE, which is the fourth largest provider in Europe in terms of air traffic volume, has the third highest number of controllers.
World leader in safety
ENAIRE and CRIDA, its research, development and innovation subsidiary, received the 2021 CANSO Global Air Safety Award at the 2022 World ATM Congress.
"With this award, ENAIRE reinforces its position as a global leader and benchmark in air safety management". So says Ángel Luis Arias, the CEO of ENAIRE.
This award acknowledges the work done by ENAIRE and CRIDA to develop a tool to automatically monitor for loss of separation between aircraft (Automatic Safety Monitoring Tool - ASMT).
ENAIRE is the air navigation service provider in Spain.
As a company of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda, it provides en route control services for all flights and overflights from five control centres in Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Gran Canaria and Palma, as well as approach services to every airport in the country.
In addition, 45 control towers receive ENAIRE's communication, navigation and surveillance services, and 21 airports, including the country's busiest, rely on its aerodrome control services.
ENAIRE is Europe's fourth largest air traffic manager. Since 1 January 2022, it has chaired the A6 Alliance, a coalition of air navigation providers responsible for over 80% of European air traffic, and which is seeking to modernise the air traffic management system. It is also a member of other international alliances promoting the Single European sky, such as SESAR Joint Undertaking, SESAR Deployment Manager, iTEC, CANSO and ICAO.
ENAIRE, as the agency appointed by the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda to implement the U-space system in Spain, will be the provider of the Common Information Services (CIS), which are essential for administering U-space services to drones and Urban Air Mobility, in interaction with local air traffic control services, so that all types of aircraft can fly safely in the same airspace.
ENAIRE has received the highest score in Europe on the aviation safety key performance indicator. It has also been awarded the EFQM 500 Seal for its safe, efficient, innovative and sustainable management of air navigation services.