Bottlenecks in the air: Air traffic control expects far more delays in the summer

Travelers at German airports need even more patience: The delays caused by air traffic control should increase significantly in the summer. Reason: There are about 200 pilots missing.



According to German Air Traffic Control (DFS), German and European air traffic will still experience significant bottlenecks for years to come. Despite a partial relocation of up to 1,100 daily flights in Europe, the delays caused by air traffic control would more or less double this summer, said DFS managing director Robert Schickling in Frankfurt.

The delay value per flight could increase according to the prognosis in German airspace from last 1.23 to 2.6 minutes, said the manager. Without Eurocontrol's centrally controlled transfers to lower airspace and around central Europe, the value would even rise to about six minutes.

According to Schickling, the DFS lacks about 200 out of 1,800 needed pilots. Many forces are currently involved in the recent intensified training of new pilots. Only in 2020, the bottom line is expected to be a relief for the first new forces in the service. "2019 will be a very difficult year," said Schickling. The pilot training takes about four years.

Air traffic control, Lufthansa and the Frankfurt airport operator Fraport once again put in place their measures to avoid further bottlenecks this summer: in addition to a number of operational measures, more staff, additional machines and more lavish time frames are to ensure liquid operation.

According to her, the first trip wave at the beginning of the Easter holidays last weekend was well done. The Federal Police also reported on a great commitment of the personal and hand luggage controllers. Longer waiting times have been prevented in Frankfurt.

ref: spiegel