April 2014

The big blue is becoming more and more congested. Each year planes carry more than 2.5 billion passengers worldwide. European airspace covers 4.1 million square miles and is watched over by 60 air traffic control (ATC) centres with 16,900 controllers!

Domestic US airspace, on the other hand, covers 3.5 million square miles (plus 24.6 million square miles of international oceanic airspace) and has just 13,000 controllers. In 2010, the European ATM system handled 33,000 flights on busy days, but by 2020 this is expected to rise to 50,000. Airbus predicts global air traffic growth to average 4.7 per cent leading up to 2032, but markets such as the Middle East will exceed 7 per cent. The question that we have asked in our cover article entitled “Up in the Sky” is: “Does the future of aviation belong to the so-called ‘express skyways’ where planes would be flocking together and flying in formation like birds, and if yes, then, will it be a safe solution?”

I encourage you to read this and other articles from this month’s issue of BT Poland.

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