More than 16500 flights will be canceled in France!
Due to a major technical overhaul that will be done to the air traffic control system in France, over 16500 of flights are planned to be canceled next year, according to BFM. Of these, 4600 flights will be canceled by Air France – KLM.
French air traffic control currently works on a system developed in the 1970s. Paper strips are sometimes used to represent planes arriving at French airports. Although it has been updated regularly over the years, in 2024 a major overhaul because growth fast a air traffic.
During the system modernization works, thousands of flights will be canceled and tens of thousands of passengers will be affected by these operational disruptions. More than 2,5 million flights pass through French airspace every year and any disruption can affect travel across Europe. During the review period, it is estimated that around 16500 flights will be cancelled.
For 6 weeks, there will be modernization work on the air traffic control system in France
Between January 9 and February 14, 2024, airlines have been advised to reduce the number of flights taking off and landing at Paris airports by 20%: Charles de Gaulle, Orly, Le Bourget and Beauvais.
During this period, the new system will be tested at air traffic control center Athis-Mons, the largest in France that manages all Paris and Beauvais airports. Canceled flights will be at the discretion of the airlines, but they will give priority to long-haul flights.
Air France told the French press that he was "forced to cancel certain short- and medium-haul flights during this period". It is estimated that approximately 4200 Air France – KLM flights will be affected. To try to minimize the impact on passengers, the airline group has already canceled these flights, informed passengers and offered them alternative flights.
Approximate one billion euros are invested in upgrading France's air traffic control system so it can handle more flights and operate more efficiently. Moving on to this "new generation system" became "crucial", Director of Air Navigation Services (DNSA) Florian Guillermet told BFM.
The scale of the operation is so large that almost 80% of the system will have to be upgraded. The new software has already been implemented in air traffic control centers in Reims and Aix en Provence, but it has not yet been tested in the center in Athis-Mons. During this period for six weeks, in early 2024, the software will be tested before being activated in early November 2024.