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Airservices performance rallies in January after December dip

written by Jake Nelson | February 8, 2024

The air traffic control tower at Sydney Airport. (Image: Airservices)

Airservices has seen an improvement in its air traffic management figures for January 2024 following a turbulent December.

12 per cent of ground delays and 1 per cent of arrival cancellations in January were attributable to Airservices, down from 16 per cent and 6 per cent in December respectively. The air traffic control body had attributed its December performance to “staff availability challenges”, mainly in Brisbane.

“Following a difficult month in December 2023 when one in every six delays were attributed to Airservices, overall air traffic management outcomes returned to an improving trend for this financial year to date,” said Airservices in its January Australian Aviation Network Overview report.

“In January 2024, one in eight delays were attributed to Airservices. Importantly at Brisbane, the proportion of delays attributed to Airservices halved from the previous month to be at similar levels as that caused by airport works.

“Airservices’ program to minimise variation to our published services remains the key priority for the Airservices team in order to deliver month-on-month improvement.”


In Brisbane, 38 per cent of ground delays for the month were attributed to Airservices, compared to 36 per cent for airport works and 26 per cent for weather.

Sydney, meanwhile, saw the lowest number of flight delays for the past year in January, the report says, despite a technical issue with an ILS glide path lasting several days that forced several flights, including two from the US, to divert to Canberra.

“A third of these delays attributed to Airservices were due to the failure of Runway 16L Instrument Landing System Glide Path on 15 January,” said Airservices.

“With thanks to the Department of Defence in facilitating the redeployment of a flight inspection aircraft from Perth to Sydney, the Glide Path returned to service on 18 January.”

Airservices has previously said it is continuing to invest in enhancing its service resilience by recruiting trainees, with 80 new air traffic controllers due in the 2024 financial year.

“The number of variations to our published services decreased this month, with concentrated efforts continue to bolster service resilience such as additional recruitment, resilience cross-training, staff engagement and improving our processes and systems,” the January report said.

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