According to reports issued by EUROCONTROL, the U.S. is outperforming Europe in terms of aviation operational costs. The Performance Review Commission (PRC) issued two reports and notes that while the two ATM systems show similarities in size and traffic density area, they differ wildly in terms of organisational aspects and regulatory operational variance.
The report regarding air navigation services showed that, when taking a look at the cost-per-flight-per-hour, the U.S. costs are 34% lower than those of Europe.
The cause can be largely attributed to the difference in funding. European ANSPs are funded by route and terminal charges, when the FAA relies upon the airport and airways trust fund in addition to congressional appropriations.
Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) in Europe number 37, which oversee 63 area control centres and 260 approach control units. The U.S. has only one – the FAA’s Air Traffic Organisation, which oversee 20 air route traffic control centres and 162 terminal radar approach control centres.
The report “confirms that the observed gap in cost-efficiency performance arises from considerably higher productivity and lower support costs in the U.S. compared to Europe,” the PRC states. “Air traffic controllers in the U.S. have higher annual working hours and more flexible working arrangements, which allow the U.S. ATO to accommodate changes in demand more easily than European ANSPs.”
Aviation operational costs cover a wide and far-reaching topic, from ANSPs to the individual airport environment. In a global economically challenging era, it has never been more important to continue operational productivity in order to keep the wheels of business turning, but to ensure that costs are kept to a mangeable level. Global companies, such as ARINC, offer products and services operating within a web-based environment that can allow seamless reliability, but with a cost-efficient, integrated framework with cost-sharing capabilities.