Air Traffic Evolution Air Traffic Evolution

PeriodAreaUpdate rateLast updateSource(s)Data
Jan-DecECAC areaQuarterly22-Mar-2019NM, CRCO, STATFOR

Average daily controlled flights

ECAC area

Average daily en-route Service Units (SU)

CRCO area

Air traffic in the (ECAC) area continued to grow for the fifth consecutive year in 2018. On average IFR flights increased by 3.8% over 2017 which was slightly above the baseline scenario forecast by STATFOR in the February 2018 forecast.
As in previous years, flight hours and distance (+4.9% vs. 2017) grew at a higher rate than IFR flights which - together with the further increase of the average take-off weight (+1.3% vs. 2017) - led again to a higher en-route service unit growth in 2018 (+6.1% vs. 2017).

Change by flight type

2018 vs. 2017

Change by traffic segment

2018 vs. 2017

Traffic variation by ANSP

2018 (Jan-Sep) vs. 2017 (Jan-Sep)


All of the 41 Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) included in the analysis reported a traffic increase compared to 2017.
In absolute terms, DFS (Germany), DHMI (Turkey), ENAIRE (Spain), HungaroControl (Hungary), ENAV (Italy) and BULATSA (Bulgaria) showed the highest year on year growth in 2018.

Traffic variation at the top 30 airports in terms of traffic

2018 vs. 2017
Following the increase in declared capacity and associated traffic (+7.7% vs 2017), Frankfurt (FRA) replaced Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) as the busiest airport in Europe.
Antalya (AYT), with a significant traffic increase of +20.9% vs 2017 joins the top 30 while Geneva (GVA) is no longer among the top 30 airports in 2018.
Thirteen of the top 30 airports reported a traffic growth above 5% in 2018.
Five airports reported a reduction in traffic levels in 2018: Stockholm (ARN), Brussels (BRU), Manchester (MAN), Düsseldorf (DUS) and London Gatwick (LGW).