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Czech airspace growing increasingly crowded in reaction to conflict in Ukraine

 
photo:  (Anna Královcová)
 

The conflict in Ukraine is affecting the airspace over Europe with international airlines rerouting many of their flights. Czech Air Traffic Control reported the highest ever number of flights over the Czech Republic last year, with a record 2,500 overhead flights on a single day.

 

Ever since the closure of a major part of Ukrainian airspace for safety reasons airlines have sought alternative routes for their flights and in view of the country’s location, many are now cutting across Czech territory. The state-owned air traffic control company RLP which provides services to users of Czech airspace registered a record number of 725,800 flights over the Czech Republic last year, a 3.7 percent increase year-on-year.

The German airlines Lufthansa has made a significant contribution to this increase, as have flights from the Arab Emirates and Turkey which are increasingly using Czech airspace for overhead flights. Over 108 million passengers flew over the Czech Republic last year with the densest air traffic registered in the summer months. June 27th saw a record number of two and a half thousand flights over Czech territory.

Czech Air Traffic Control –for whom it was the busiest year since the company was established in 1995 – says it is proud of the fact that despite the growing volume of air traffic in 2014 no incident occurred that would endanger air safety.

Also the growing number of traffic has not resulted in significant time-delays. The average delay per flight reached 0.02 minutes last year –the recommended limit set for Czech airspace by the European Air Navigation Authority is 0.16 minutes per flight.

Although international carriers pay charges for using Czech airspace Czech Air Traffic Control spokesman Richard Klíma says extra profits from the increase in traffic will be moderate.

“The growing number of short routes cutting across the Czech Republic have paradoxically resulted in the fact that despite the increase in traffic there has been a slight decrease in the volume of en-route service units, and thereby also in the profit that RLP makes from flights over Czech territory.”

In 2013 the company had a turnover of over 3 billion crowns and a gross profit of over 500 million. The results for last year have not yet been posted.

 
 
Author: Český rozhlas Radio Praha
 
Added: 03.02.2015
 
 
 

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