Due to a major overhaul of the air traffic control system in France, more than 16,000 Flights are planned to be canceled next year, according to BFM. 4,200 will concern Air France – KLM.
French air traffic control is currently working on a system developed in the 1970s, sometimes still using strips of paper to represent incoming planes. Although it has been regularly modernized over the years, a major overhaul is planned early 2024 due to growth fast from air traffic. With the evolution of the system, the first two months of the year could prove complicated for passengers. More than 2.5 million flights pass through French airspace each year and any disruption can affect travel across Europe. While the work takes place, it is estimated that around 16,500 flights will be canceled, according to business news channel BFM.
Between the January 9 and February 14, 2024airlines have been advised to reduce by 20% the number of flights taking off and landing at Paris airports Charles de Gaulle, Orly, Le Bourget And Beauvais. During this period, the new system will be tested at Athis-Mons air traffic control center, the largest in France which manages all of Paris and Beauvais airports. Canceled flights will be up to the airlines, but they will likely give priority to long-haul flights.
Air France told French media that he had been “forced to cancel certain short and medium-haul flights during this period”or more than 4,200 in total by the Air France-KLM group. To try to minimize the impact on passengers, the airline group has already canceled these flights, informed passengers and offered them transfers to different flights on the same day.
Approximately a billion euros are invested in improving air traffic control in France so that it is able to handle more flights and operate more efficiently. Skip to this “next generation system” became ” crucial “declared on BFM Florian Guillermet, director of Air Navigation Services (DNSA).
The scale of the operation is so large that almost 80% of the system will need to be upgraded – far more than the usual practice of changing components one after the other. The new software has already been deployed in air traffic control centers in Reims and D’Aix en Provence but still needs to be tested in the larger center of Athis-Mons. During this period of six weeks In early 2024, the software will be tested before finally being introduced in November.