The air transport is undoubtedly one of the biggest industries in the world. By the year 2020, there are expected to be 50.000 flights within the EU alone per day. The money at stake is almost unimaginable and the results of cost and benefit analysis could be absolutely crucial. It is crucial right now, let alone for the years to come. Apparently, EU airline companies lost an astonishing €29.5 billion due to flight delays in 2007. An estimated €13.7 billion of the loss was a result of the need for extra staffing, whereas the rest of the costs came about through fuel and maintenance, the rest from planes simply idling at the gates of European airports.
Some would say, to a certain degree justifiably, that flight delays are absolutely unavoidable, especially when resulting from bad weather, breakdowns in airport communication or technical faults. Others, also justifiably, claim that the delays are mostly caused simply by the lack of a decent system. Therefore, the two huge bodies in the form of Eurocontroll and US FAA have created elaborate plans for a futuristic style satellite navigation system which is to be aimed at controlling air traffic and minimalizing the risk of delays.
The system is planned for the period of around 2025 and, although expected to cost a huge amount of money, is entrusted with the task of saving airlines money and saving passengers a number of problems on their travels. It is true to say that the plans for the system have been met with a degree of cynicism, mostly arising from the opinion that the EU and the US should be sensible about funding. Despite these negative aspects, the plans are still likely to go ahead.