Aviation Wrap-up May 2024: New Regulation, Summer Travel and More

Curious about what’s shaping up for air travel this summer? Dive into the critical factors expected to impact your journey, from staffing shortages to airports operating at full capacity. Plus, get inspired by a team of female students whose innovative ideas are making London City Airport more sustainable. Explore the newly proposed legislation that will transform ground handling operations across the European Union, aiming to enhance safety, cybersecurity, and standardization. Finally, discover which airports and airlines made it to the on-time performance (OTP) top charts. Read more in our aviation wrap-up May 2024.

Summer Travel – What to Expect

The summer travel season is upon us, and it promises to be particularly busy. If you’re planning to take to the skies, there are a few things you should know to make your journey smoother.

Ravi Sarathy, a seasoned air travel expert from Northeastern University, offers a crucial piece of advice: “Be ready to have delays.” Why the warning? Staff shortages, unpredictable weather, changes to cancellation policies, and airports at full capacity—all of these translate to delays.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) anticipates screening a record number of travelers between the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. Moreover, flight availability is up 4% this year compared to last, according to airline trade group Airlines for America. However, airlines still struggle with delays in the delivery of new planes. This means that smaller and older planes may be making trips, limiting the supply of routes and seats.

But carriers are taking extra precautions. They seem to be willing to spend more time on the ground to ensure there are no issues. Expect airlines to build extra time into flights to obtain a little “wiggle room” and avoid issuing refunds for significantly changed flights and long delays.

So, book your flights for early morning and/or allow for longer layovers to avoid missing connections. Choose flights at less popular times to help mitigate the crunch in at-capacity airports. This way, you will be ready to navigate the summer travel season.

LCY’s Women in Aviation Challenge Has a Winner

A big congratulations to the East London students who won a contest on how to make London City Airport (LCY) more sustainable. Their ideas included using alternative fuels and architecturally redesigning the airport’s terminal.

Aviation Minister Anthony Browne MP commented, “As the aviation sector continues to grow and adapt, initiatives like the Women in Aviation Program are vital for shining a light on this rewarding sector. It is great to see so many Aviation Ambassadors getting involved and encouraging young women to join the industry. This level of support will surely help build a diverse and talented workforce for the future.”

EASA´s proposed legislation is set to provide increased certainty that ground handling operations are being conducted safely and consistently in all major EU airports.

Ground Handling Regulation Expected to Drive Safety, Cybersecurity, and Standardization

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued its first proposal designed to regulate ground handling across European Union (EU) airports. It expects the final to be published in Q4 2024 or Q1 2025. 

Many operations lack a safety culture and key tools to support safe operations, which has led to:

  • 27,000 ramp accidents and incidents or one per 1,000 departures occur each year worldwide.
  • 243,000 people are injured annually in these accidents and incidents with an injury rate of 9 per 1,000 departures.
  • Ramp accidents cost major airlines worldwide at least $10 billion a year.

EASA’s Ground Handling Regulation will soon require ground handling organizations and self-handling aircraft operations to:

  • Self-declare that they comply with the EU requirements (assuring defined operational procedures and following industry standards and best practices)
  • Prove that they have a management system in place that is appropriately aligned with their operations’ complexity and addresses:
    • A Safety Management System
    • Staff Training
    • A Maintenance Program for Ground Support Equipment
    • Defined Operational Procedures
    • A Robust Safety Culture wherein any safety issues are reported without penalty, quickly addressed, and used as a learning lesson to further improve safety when providing ground handling service.

Top On-time Performers

Looking for reliable flights this summer? Our Aviation Wrap-up May 2024 brings you the latest data from Cirium. Check out the airlines and airports that excelled in on-time performance:

  • The APAC region saw the most significant gains, but the standout performer came from Latin America. Aeromexico reclaimed the top spot globally with an impressive OTP of 88.83%, while its hub, Benito Juarez International Airport, ranked fifth among airports with an OTP of 86.54%.
  • In North America, Delta Air Lines led the region with an OTP of 85.73%, and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport posted an OTP of 82.46%.
  • Japan’s JAL soared to second place with an OTP of 88.17%. Haneda Airport, JAL’s hub, also ranked second among airports with an OTP of 87.85%. ANA followed closely in third place, achieving an OTP of 87.21%, with its hub, Narita International Airport, also seeing significant improvement.
  • Iberia and LATAM Airlines rounded out the top five airlines, with their respective hubs, Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport and Arturo Merino Benitez Airport, performing strongly.

>> How do you think aviation will perform this summer season and what do you expect from the newly proposed legislation to regulate ground handling operations across EU airports? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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