Although the growth rate is decreasing over the years, it was still high and well above the European average. The traffic volume increased by 8.6 % compared to 2006 and the number of controlled traffic reached 890,087 in 2007, representing an increase of more than 70,000 flights over the previous year.


Breakdown of Flights


If we summarize the evolution of traffic between 2003 and 2007, the traffic increased by 70 %. While the international arrivals & departures and the overflights were growing steadily, main contribution to this growth was coming from the domestic flights (Domestic flights increased by 118 %, international arrivals & departures increased by 43 % and overflights increased by 60 % compared to 2003 and therefore the share of the domestic flights within total flights increased from the least to the biggest). The charts show the trend in controlled traffic over the years and the breakdown of IFR flights.

According to the EUROCONTROL / STATFOR, Turkey is the 6th biggest country in Europe in terms of additional IFR movements per day with approximately 150 additional IFR movements (excluding overflights) as shown in the graph.


This increase in the number of controlled flights is expected to continue in the near future. Although the traffic growth is expected + 3.5 % per annum for Europe as a whole, it is noteworthy that much higher growth (6.1 %) is expected for Turkey.

It should also be underlined that the traffic volume is higher in the summer period due to tourism activities. As seen in the graph, there was a significant seasonal traffic variation with a peak in August both for Ankara ACC and İstanbul ACC.



Notwithstanding the great growth in traffic, the ATM system has been able to absorb this increase and Turkish ACCs generated no en-route ATFM delays during 2007. Although, the average ATFM delay per flight was 2.1 minutes and 1.2 minutes of this figure was attributed to en-route delay, the average en-route delay was zero in Turkey over the whole year 2007 (The average en-route delay per flight increased from zero in summer 2006 to 0.1 minutes in summer 2007, remaining within the optimum) Therefore, the average en-route delay per flight was noticeably below the European average and PC target value of 1 minute.

However İstanbul / Atatürk Airport experienced some delays in the peak tourist season due to the large increase in the traffic. These delays were eliminated through common actions agreed between the İstanbul FMP and the CFMU. In addition, the measures taken to enhance and better manage capacity led to an effective increase of ATM capacity and the delays were decreased in 2007 compared to 2006 while the total delay increased by 17.4 % over 2006 for the whole European Network. This realised decrease in İstanbul / Atatürk Airport delays was the result of the fact that the capacity increase was more than the traffic growth (İstanbul Atatürk Airport delay per delayed flight was 17 minutes and the proportion of total airport delay was 1.3 % in 2007).


DHMİ has taken necessary measures to ensure that the system has the capacity and redundancy to work in a safe and reliable way: Together with increased civil / military coordination, A/G and G/G


communications infrastructure and surveillance infrastructure were improved and additional controllers were recruited.

Airside capacity assessment and enhancement studies for İstanbul / Atatürk Airport were completed together with EUROCONTROL by taking into account the new runway and taxiways. New theoretical capacity and the bottlenecks have been identified. The bottlenecks have been investigated further and by means of pilot and controller forums, commonly agreed proposals were set and all of them were implemented (except for the ones requiring infrastructural changes). Currently, as a part of the awareness campaign, studies to prepare the information brochures for the pilots are commenced together with EUROCONTROL and brochures will be available by the end of August 2008. Then the second phase will start to identify the results of the studies and capacity gained. For the proposals requiring infrastructural changes, feasibility studies were started and based on the results of the studies, necessary actions will also be taken in the near future.

In addition to the airside capacity studies, CDM GAP Analysis studies were also commenced to enhance the productivity of the Airport. Turkey has also implemented a minor route network re-organisation through the new route network package, containing one international and four domestic ATS routes:

• New international ATS route:

* G / UG 901 (BALUM - KARDE)

• New domestic ATS routes:


* W / UW 88 (EZS – MOVUL – GAP – URF)
* W / UW 103 (KHD – INGIN – GAP)
* W / UW 716 (GAZ – LUTAM – GAP – UMRUM – DIY)
* W / UW 717 (ADA – HTY)

By means of these new ATS routes, the ATS route network meets the requirements of international civil aviation and airspace users, as well as the specific national and international needs.

Additionally, new SIDs and STARs were designed for some TMAs (including İstanbul Atatürk Airport).

In the meantime, it has been noted that the continuous traffic growth has resulted in the reserve capacity being eroded, meaning that the existing system was no longer capable of economic upgrading to satisfy the extra capacity needs. In the light of this fact, Turkey has accelerated its SMART (Systematic Modernisation of ATM Resources in Turkey) Project to allow an early implementation of an interim upgrade of the ATM systems in the existing ACCs and APPs. The interim upgrade is planned for completion by 2008 and the full implementation of the SMART project (including a Centralised-Turkish ACC in Ankara) will be completed by the end of Summer 2010.

The airspace structure will be further modified through the implementation of the SMART Project. The new centralised ACC to be built in Ankara will provide control services for all en-route traffic above FL 245. The other ACCs (İstanbul and İzmir) will provide only approach services.



The total number of ATCOs employed by the DHMİ was 792 for 2007. However, this number is still too few, and if we take into account the increasing need for air traffic controllers as a result of the system modernizations and dramatic growth in aviation, the increase in the number of air traffic controllers still falls short of the need. Therefore, a primary aim of the DHMİ for the years to come will be to systematically overcome and minimise this current and expected controller shortage.

The DHMİ proved itself able to keep the shortages controllable and prevent bottlenecks in air traffic handling owing to the great commitment and motivation. Additionally, some administrative measures have been taken to remedy the shortfall and 103 new staff were recruited as student air traffic controllers at the beginning of 2007 according to our new recruitment programme. With this recruitment programme, it is planned to employ at least 70 additional ATCOs each year for all ATC units,
with priority being given to Ankara, İstanbul, İzmir and Antalya ATC units; and to increase the number of ATCOs up to 1,010 by the year 2010 as required by the SMART Project.


To comply with the ICAO language proficiency requirements and ensure that all the ATCOs have the proficiency in English at operational level 4 as a minimum, we continued to send all of them to England for Aviation English Courses according to the contract signed between the DHMİ and the MLS International College.

Courses began in February 2006 and ATCOs are being sent to Bournemouth, England in groups according to a prepared time schedule that takes into consideration operational needs. 302 ATCOs completed their training in 2006 and 273 ATCOs completed their training in 2007. It is planned to complete the Aviation English Courses by March 2008.


Training means investing in the future. Once again this year, despite the high employment rate, the DHMİ kept up this principle and managed to ensure high-quality training for all of its trainees.

A significant output was achieved with the graduation of 46 air traffic controllers at the Training Centre of the DHMİ, while the remaining 53 trainees were still in the training programme.

Moreover, training capacity is to be stepped up with the modernisation of the Air Traffic Control Simulator System.

There is also a vigorous and continuous refreshment training plan covering the present and future needs of ATCOs.

Part Task Trainer simulation software of EUROCONTROL was also used for both the refreshment training of ATCOs and Pre-OJT of the student ATCOs (as part of unit training)
in Ankara ACC/APP, A.Menderes ACC/APP, Antalya APP and Dalaman APP.

However, the most important part of the ATCO training for the year 2007 was the familiarization training for the new ATC systems. ATC System Upgrade works within Interim Modernisation Project have been finalised in Ankara, İstanbul, İzmir, Antalya, Dalaman and Bodrum ATC Units. In this context, necessary ATCO theoretical and practical trainings were completed gradually in the mentioned ATC Units to enable easy and safe transition to the new system and environment as well as new procedures regarding ATC.

The system familiarization training of all ATCOs was realized by means of Computer Based Trainings, theoretical lectures, practical simulator trainings and on-site trainings on the upgraded systems.


Safety Regulation for Civil Aviation in Turkey has its legal basis through:

• The organisation and functions of the Ministry of Transport,
• Turkish Civil Aviation Law,
• Law on the Organisation and the Duties of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation,
• The Chicago Convention,
• The EUROCONTROL Convention.

Implementation of ESARRs is delayed in Turkey although some are already being enacted in practice. 3 new regulations in compliance with ESARR 5.1 ATCOs, ESARR 5.2 ATSEPs and ESARR2 have been enacted and promulgated in the Official Gazette in 2007.

DHMİ and DGCA have prepared draft texts for the remaining ESARRs and it is expected that these will pass into legislation in 2008-9 and be enacted into law and applied in practise during 2008-9. Existing regulations are considered sufficiently similar to the ESARRs to ensure that all safety objectives are successfully achieved until the full adoption of ESARRs in Turkish legislation.

“Safety Management System Instructions for ATS” document for DHMİ in accordance with ICAO Annex 11, Doc 4444, EUROCONTROL ESARR3, and ESARR4 was published in 2007.

The DHMİ Safety Commission which is responsible for all ATM safety matters has been established in relation with the Safety Management System. Generic Safety Management Manual guidelines are being used for updating Local Guidelines for SMS and QMS adapted to Turkish requirements. The formation of the DHMİ Safety Commission enables the reinforcement and application of safety management procedures. The Safety Commission promotes awareness and implementation of SES safety provisions within DHMİ and in accordance with Turkish legislation.

Oversight activities conducted by DGCA were presently confined to airports and ATM units.

DHMİ is taking the necessary measures to guarantee the safe and correct functioning of the existing system up to the introduction into operation of the SMART system. The Interim System will be operational during 2008 and the final system (which will be located in the new pan-Turkey ACC in Ankara) by summer 2010 followed by full operational status in summer 2011.

Regarding the Safety-Related Human Resources in ATM, continuous training activities and staff recruitment are ongoing. New ATCOs were recruited and undergone ab-initio training in the DHMİ Training Centre in Esenboğa, Ankara. Refreshment training of air traffic controllers was done in the form of seminars and refresher trainings. Assessment of the correct use of the standard ICAO phraseology and read back procedures was performed regularly. The investigations of related findings were suitably debriefed.

For system outages or upgrades, adequate arrangements have been made and contingency plans have been implemented.

Regarding runway safety, Local Runway Safety Teams have been formed for all airports and a reporting and dissemination structure to DHMİ and to the DGCA has been formed. Airport related personnel have been kept fully aware of all runway incursion matters. Suitable training in line with EUROCONTROL Action Plan for the prevention of runway incursions and Airport Runway Incident (APRI) guidelines has already been prepared. Local Runway Safety Teams have also been carrying out the trainings and awareness campaigns in accordance with ICAO Runway Safety Toolkit in all aerodromes.




Voluntary reporting is encouraged as a best practice. Incidents are reported either by pilots or ATCOs (through the local management) to the DHMİ Headquarter. Then an investigation team is formed for each incident to investigate the incident, identify the possible reasons and propose necessary measures to avoid the repetition of such incidents in the future. The results of investigations are reported to DGCA.

Accidents undergo a similar process, except that a commission is established by DGCA to carry out the necessary investigation. This commission consists of experts from Civil Aviation Authority, Civil and Military Air Navigation Service Providers, Airlines and any other related organizations according to the needed expertise.

The causes of occurrences are analysed to identify the areas which should and could be improved and safety recommendations, interventions and corrective actions are developed to reduce the risk incurred. All appropriate safety data are collected and stored.

In 2007, a total of 134 incident reports have been investigated and 45 of which were classified as ATM related.