Figures released by the Irish Aviation Authority reveal a positive start to 2019, with a record number of air traffic movements handled safely in Ireland. The amount of traffic handled by air traffic control climbed by 6.6% in January to 82,556 flights, compared to the same month in 2018. The previous record for January was set in 2017 when 81,373 flights were handled safely by the IAA.
Significantly, there was an 8.9% increase in Ireland’s overflight traffic movements (flights that do not land in Ireland) compared to January 2018. There were 24,553 overflight traffic movements in January 2019. January also saw a 5.3% increase in North Atlantic Communications flights (Europe/USA flights) in comparison to the same month in 2018. There were 35,900 North Atlantic Communications flights handled in January 2019.
Peter Kearney, Chief Executive, IAA, said: “Heading into the spring, it is very pleasing to see air traffic records being broken. Air traffic demand remains strong in virtually all areas and, if this trend continues, 2019 will prove to be a very busy year for our air traffic controllers. We are nearly 7% ahead of where we were this time last year, which is very positive and reflects the continued growth of the commercial aviation sector in Europe and the USA, with particularly strong demand for air services on the transatlantic. We do, however, remain cautious, as the economic impact associated with a no-deal Brexit may have a bearing on demand for air travel in 2019.”