Overflights in Finnish airspace at record level
The number of overflights in Finnish airspace reached a record level in 2011. The number of overflights is on the increase as airlines optimize their flight routes due to, for example, rising fuel costs. In 2011, the number of overflights increased by nearly 10 per cent from the previous year. The same trend has continued also in early 2012.
In 2011, there were altogether nearly 33,000 overflights in Finnish airspace. Overflights have been increasing steadily over the past ten years, by nearly 7 per cent per year on average. The increase in overflight traffic is affected by airlines' need to optimize their flight routes due to, for example, rising fuel costs and tightening competition.
Finnish airspace is well suited for overflights thanks to its favourable geographical location and the short and direct flight routes enabled by the airspace. There is also plenty of space for overflights in Finnish airspace.
Finavia's area control centre in Tampere is in charge of coordinating overflights in Finland. The cost efficiency and safety of Finavia's air navigation services make Finnish airspace attractive for international airlines. The significance of air traffic smoothness and cost efficiency for overflights is taken increasingly into consideration already when planning flight routes.
Finavia charges airlines a service fee for overflights. Therefore, the increase in overflights also supports the operational preconditions of Finnish air traffic and the moderate development of flight ticket consumer prices.
Overflights represent about a quarter of the revenues of Finavia's air navigation system in Finland. This year, Finavia's overflight revenues are expected to total about 15 million euros.
Most overflights in routes between Asia and the EU
In 2011, flights from Asia to the EU accounted for 24 per cent of the overflights. On the other hand, the share of flights going from the EU towards Asia was 19 per cent. The number of these overflights has also grown most rapidly since 2010. The share of European overflights was 38 per cent.
In terms of the number of overflights handled by Finavia, the route between Germany and Japan was the busiest in 2011 (over 1,700 overflights). In the overflight routes from Russia to the United States and from France to Japan, there were more than 1,400 overflights along each route.
Finland to be part of the North European Functional Airspace Block
The air navigation operating environment will be going through extensive changes in the following years. The EU's Single European Sky (SES) programme aims to establish a uniform European airspace. As of the end of 2012, Finland will belong to the North European Functional Airspace Block.
SES regulations set stringent performance targets for air navigation, aiming to further increase, among other things, the cost efficiency of air navigation services.