The realised traffic growth was well above the European average during 2004. Traffic volume increased by 20% for Ankara FIR (average number of 1141 flights per day) and 9% for İstanbul FIR (average number of 1087 flights per day) compared to 2003.
Traffic volume is higher in the summer period due to tourism activities. As seen in the graph, there is a significant seasonal traffic variation with a peak in August, both for Ankara and İstanbul ACCs.
It is expected that traffic demand will continue to increase in the following years. The graph shows the traffic evolution in terms of IFR flights per year as developed by EUROCONTROL STATFOR for Turkey.
Regardless of this traffic growth, since Turkeys existing ATM/ATC system still has some reserve capacity, the ATM system has been able to absorb the traffic increase without any notable en-route delays (nearly zero on average).
It has however been noted that recent traffic growth may result in this reserve capacity being absorbed within a few years. Therefore, Turkey has accelerated its long term project called SMART (Systematic Modernisation of ATM Resources in Turkey) and in order to cope with this traffic growth an early implementation of interim systems in the existing ACCs and APPs will be realised by the end of 2006. Full
implementation of the SMART project (including the new centralised Ankara ACC and new buildings for the APPs and TWRs) is planned to be completed by 2008. SMART will provide sufficient ATC capacity to absorb traffic growth up to at least 2020.
To increase the capacity for the short term, Turkey has also made some arrangements in airspace design (new ATC routes, re-sectorisation, etc). Studies for a more efficient use of airspace and increased airport capacity still continue in a planned way.
Turkey has recently implemented a major route network reorganisation through the new route network package in South East Europe (containing 13 new ATS routes and modifying two existing ones in December 2003 between Turkey and Greece and three new ATS routes between Turkey and Syria in 2004).
The implementation of all routes ensured a
significant enhancement of safety and capacity in the region. The new ATS route network meets the requirements of international civil aviation and airspace users, as well as the specific national and international needs of the states concerned.
Additionally, the re-organisation of some major TMAs was implemented, together with the required SIDs/STARs, which ensures the
connection with the new ATS route structure.