At a teleconference next Thursday, EuroControl is set to announce an expanded programme to help Greek air traffic controllers streamline summer flights to Greece. With a goal of further cutting delays on services to the Greek Islands, EuroControl is augmenting a programme that it claims has already cut delays by 75 per cent.
The initiative follows huge delays on summer flights in 2010 and 2011 caused by airlines either flying without slots or not filing according to their scheduled slot, said Anthony Leggat, senior expert airport operations at EuroControl. “We came up with a procedure last summer, where we worked we got the majority of the European carriers who fly to the Greek Islands,” he said. “We got them to come onboard, mainly based on trust, because there was a lot of cheating going on on the system.”
At a teleconference on Thursday, EuroControl is now set to reveal an extension to the programme, a joint procedure between Eurocontrol, HCAA and Hellenic Slot Coordination, in which more carriers are due to participate. “For the first time we’ve also got the buy-in from the CIS operators as well, which for us is a major step as they’re outside our control area,” he added.
At the Routes Europe networking event at Budapest, Leggat has also been contacting carriers in neither IACA nor IATA to alert their operations teams to participate in the teleconference. If the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCCA) approves EuroControl’s proposed procedures, a new automated monitoring system will be activated from May 27. “If a flight’s detected as having no slot or being severely off its slot, the operator will get a warning message from the Greek slot co-ordination to which they’re going to have to respond,” said Leggat.
Traffic to the Greece is expected to rise by seven per cent this summer, although some destinations are forecast for much higher increases as tour operators shift their operations between islands.
(by Piers Evans, Deputy Editor - Routes News)