In 2012, there were altogether nearly 48,000 overflights in Finnish airspace. Of these, Finavia coordinated the total of over 31.000 flights. Overflights have been increasing steadily over the past ten years. However, as the global economy continued to be unstable and the growth in the number of passengers slowed down rapidly, the volume growth experienced a rapid slowdown towards the end of 2012. ”Demand fluctuation, tighter competition and cost pressure from airlines will force airlines to optimise their flight routes. 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. Our goal is to keep air traffic in Finnish airspace smooth and air navigation services cost-effective, competitive and safe also in the future to further increase our market share of intercontinental overflights,” says Raine Luojus, SVP, Air Navigation Services. In December 2012, Finland adopted the Free Route Airspace model, which allows airlines to use the most direct route through Finnish airspace at night instead of following the route networks. Increase in overflights supports the operational preconditions of Finnish air traffic Finavia's Area Control Centre Finland is in charge of coordinating overflights in Finland. Finavia charges airlines a service fee for overflights. Therefore, the increase in overflights also supports the operational preconditions of Finnish air traffic. Overflights represent about a quarter of the revenues of Finavia's air navigation system in Finland. Last year, overflight revenues totalled at approximately EUR 16.5 million. In Finland, air navigation services are currently making a loss. In 2011, air navigation services caused a loss of EUR 10 million. Despite efficient, high-quality service production, making air navigation services profitable is challenging due to low traffic volumes. Finavia covers the losses of air navigation services with profit from services offered for air passengers on airports. Finland became a part of the North European Functional Airspace Block EU’s Single European Sky programme aims to create an airspace with uniform air navigation services in Europe, consisting of nine Functional Airspace Blocks. The agreement on the operation of the North European Functional Airspace Block, NEFAB entered into force in December 2012. It helps creating better routes. Other countries in the block include Norway, Estonia and Latvia. Starting from 2015, uniform air navigation services will be provided within the NEFAB airspace.
The number of overflights in Finnish airspace continued to increase in 2012
The number of overflights in Finnish airspace reached a record level last year. According to Finavia, the company responsible for air navigation services in Finland, the number of overflights in 2012 increased by nearly 10 per cent from the previous year. The number of overflights is on the increase as airlines optimise their flight routes due to, for example, rising fuel costs.