Skyguide Review 2022: Significant increase in traffic, but below the average of 2019

Air traffic in Switzerland increased sharply last year. Skyguide managed and monitored 1,147,007 flights under instrument flight rules (IFR) in 2022. This represents a further significant increase in the total number of flights (+66.2 per cent) compared with the previous year, but the volume of traffic is still 12.1 per cent lower than in 2019. The national airports of Geneva (+70.2 per cent) and Zurich (+68.0 per cent) also recorded significantly higher traffic volumes.

Air traffic control punctuality remained at a very high level in 2022. 97.3 per cent (prior year: 99.2
per cent) of all flights controlled by skyguide were handled on time. Skyguide further strengthened its successful civil-military partnership in 2022 and supported the Swiss Air Force in its 24/7 sovereignty mandate.

Following the pandemic-related slump in commercial aviation and the partial recovery in the previous year, traffic figures rose again significantly in 2022. However, volatility also remains high. At the two national airports in Geneva and Zurich, the strong demand is largely due to the resumption of holiday traffic. Skyguide handled an average of 3,142 flights per day. The peak day was 27 July 2022 with 3,999 flights (previous year: 31 July with 3,301 flights. 2019: 28 June with 4,522 flights). Skyguide controlled
1,147,007 IFR flights in 2022. Instrument flights1 2022:

2022 2021 Veränderung
Instrument flights 1,147,007 690,275 + 66.2%
of which transit 736,081 435,362 + 66.1%
Aircraft movements 2022 by market segment (Skyguide charging zone)

2022 vs 2021 2022 vs 2019
Cargo + 8.8% + 39.3%
Business Aviation + 16.8% + 23.6%
Charter + 50.7% + 5.5%
Traditional Airlines + 83.5% + 22.3%
Low-Cost Airlines + 102.9% + 11.5%
Air navigation services are still very punctual

In 2022, 97.3 per cent of all flights controlled by skyguide were on time according to the air traffic control parameters. In the previous year, the figure was 99.2 per cent. Air traffic control-related delays averaged 18.3 seconds per flight (previous year: 3.2 seconds). The main reason for the increase in delays within Europe is the inadequate performance of the pan-European network. In addition to factors that cannot be influenced, such as the geopolitical situation with restrictions due to the war in Ukraine or increasingly difficult weather conditions with violent and long-lasting thunderstorms, bottlenecks at the airlines, airports and ground handling services also led to difficult situations in the summer, when travel increased sharply.

Proven collaboration in a difficult geopolitical period

As a private-law air navigation service provider, skyguide provides civil and military services. Against the background of the current geopolitical situation in Europe, the Swiss Air Force’s proven and close collaboration with skyguide is of particular importance. Last year, for example, several major operations in quick succession, such as the WEF, the 12th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation and the Ukraine Recovery Conference, provided an impressive demonstration of the cooperation model that has been so successful for more than 20 years.

Military aircraft movements decreased by 1.5 per cent to 88,154 (compared with 89,491 in 2021).
Skyguide conducted 211 live and hot missions and 2,397 tactical operations for the Swiss Air Force
(compared with 219 and 1,958 respectively for the previous year). Skyguide achieved 99.62 percent of
the service level defined in the performance agreement with the Swiss Air Force (average for all air force bases). The “Air Defence and Direction Center” (ADDC) in Dübendorf achieved a service performance of 100 percent.

Skyguide again provided the full range of air navigation services at the regional civil aerodromes.

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