Eurocontrol is now using the actual route flown to establish the distance factor used to calculate route charges in Europe. Previously, the distance factor was calculated based on an aircraft’s last filed flight plan. The new criteria could lead to higher charges for some operators.
This change was “driven by increasing availability of flight and aircraft data and ensures that air navigation service providers receive revenues for those flights that have actually passed through their airspace,” said Eurocontrol. “It should also increase predictability, and as a result support the most efficient use of airspace in the network, as it takes away the incentive for operators to file route charges optimized flight plans that are not always adhered to.”
Eurocontrol sets the principles for the charges and collects them on behalf of its member states. The actual charges themselves are set by the air navigation facilities established in each of the member states. Details of the changes in criteria, as well as a list of how each country determines its charges, are contained in Eurocontrol’s annual updates of its “Conditions of Application of the Route Charges System and Conditions of Payment” and of its “Principles for Establishing The Cost-Base for En Route Charges and The Calculation of The Unit Rates.”