Conservative MEPs call for improvement to Air Traffic Control System

The Rt. Hon. Sir Robert Atkins MEP, Spokesman on Transport and Tourism, reacted with concern to the publication by the Commission if its "new initiatives to provide the Community with the air traffic management (ATM) system it needs to ensure the proper functioning of its internal market.

"Sir Robert said: "The air traffic control system is buckling under the sheer volume of work and it needs to be rebuilt. The Commission estimates a doubling of air traffic by 2005. If the volume increases by another 10% it WILL collapse. This must be addressed or the consequences will be chaos and huge delays for the consumer."

"I am also concerned about the relationship between the airlines and Euro control. As the airlines face huge competition, they have to be on time to please their customers, so most of them submit more flight plans to Euro control than they really need. If they miss a slot, they can fall back on one of the other plans they have filed. This practice is causing delays and it is not being stopped. Euro control is facing a huge task."

"That is why I am urging the Commission to take urgent action and I shall be pressing my Conservative colleagues at Westminster to join with me in making this a priority issue in our continuing Transport campaign."

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