It’s six weeks since air traffic pretty much disappeared from our skies and whichever flight tracking app you might use, you’re not seeing much on it any more. For our air traffic controllers, it’s now like working a permanent night shift, bumping along at around 10% of normal traffic levels. Many of our controllers have been furloughed though, as key workers, it is important we rotate them through the operation and that we have an on-call shift in reserve at all times, to maintain resilience. And to be ready for a restart, whenever and however that might happen.
2018 was the busiest summer on record for air traffic in Europe with peaks of 37,000 flights a day and 2019 is expected to be even busier. Unfortunately last summer also saw some of the worst air traffic delays throughout the continent, caused largely by airspace capacity constraints and staff shortages.