The provision of air traffic management (ATM) services has for a long time been a national monopoly. In addition, it has traditionally been considered a natural monopoly due to the need for large infrastructure investments. Both of these elements are now changing. Air traffic management has been under increased scrutiny of the European Union since the start of the Single European Sky program. In addition, technological revolutions have reduced the need for large-scale ground-based infrastructure and expensive equipment, questioning the natural monopoly character of the industry.


The overall goal of the COMPAIR project was to study various institutional and market design options for introducing competition for en-route services. Our results suggests that introducing some form of competitive elements would:

  • Increase ANSPs efficiency
  • Lower charges
  • Increase technology uptake
  • Decrease fragmentation (for some options)


In order to assess their potential contribution to the European Single European Sky objectives. The project had the following goals:

  • Propose a set of new institutional market designs for the introduction of competition in the European ATM sector;
  • Define a framework allowing a comprehensive assessment of the impact of different institutional market designs;
  • Develop a variety of economic and network simulation models allowing the assessment of the proposed approaches;
  • Assess the feasibility and acceptability of proposed institutional changes for various market actors;
  • Propose a vision for the implementation of the most desirable institutional structures.

To achieve the overall objectives, the project focused on four potential ways to introduce competitive elements in the ATM sector:

  • Performance regulation with variations in ownership and governance models
  • Unbundling
  • Tender of licenses for en-route air traffic services
  • Flight centric, sector-less operations


  • Transport & Mobility Leuven NV (TML) conducts fundamental and applied research to support policy decisions. It is our mission to help society by offering scientifically sound analyses. To this end, we rely on quantitative research: modelling, statistical analyses, simulations, and prognoses. Our research fields are traffic, passenger and freight transport and the related economic impact and environmental problems. Transport & Mobility Leuven is a private research company founded in 2002 by the KU Leuven. Our focus is both scientific as practical: we are the bridge between the university and society. TML works for governments and businesses and supports their policies by research. In this way, new research needs are discovered and TML can adequately develop new research initiatives.
  • Nommon is a research-intensive technology company that provides decision support tools and consulting services for organisational intelligence and policy assessment. For this purpose, Nommon integrates supporting databases with analytical and simulation models that make use of a variety of mathematical tools, from data mining or operations research, to the most recent and innovative methods from complex systems science. Nommon works in sectors whose performance emerges from the complex interaction of interdependent policies, technologies, and socio-economic trends, including transport systems, logistics and supply chain, energy and environment, and urban and regional planning. Nommon is particularly active in the field of transport research.
  • The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel’s first university, is a multidisciplinary institution of higher learning and research, where intellectual pioneering, cutting-edge scientific discovery, and a passion for learning flourish. Research and creativity have always been the cornerstone of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem since its inception in 1928. For over 80 years, Hebrew University researchers have not only carried out outstanding basic research, but have also responded to the needs of society. The University is justly proud of its position at the cutting edge of world science. Its researchers publish widely in leading international scientific and scholarly journals, conduct collaborative research projects with noted scholars from other countries and compete successfully for research grants from international and national funding sources (NIH, DFG, EU, Human Frontier, ERC, Howard Hughes, ISF).The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has been ranked among the top universities in the world in two comprehensive surveys conducted by The Times Higher Education Supplement of London and Shanghai University. In The Times listings of the world’s 100 top universities in specific academic fields, the Hebrew University was ranked 43 rd place in the arts and humanities; 44th in social sciences, 52nd in science, and 63rd in biomedicine. Funding of more than $107 million supports 4,500 research projects in progress. Within the framework of these projects, 45% of all the student body (24,000) are graduate students and are working towards advanced degrees, gaining invaluable experience as the project leaders of tomorrow. The University has educated and trained thousands of students - 28% of all doctoral candidates in Israel are enrolled at the Hebrew University- providing the skilled manpower needed for many aspects of Israel's development
  • Slot Consulting is a consulting company focusing on research and innovations. The company has a rich aviation reference portfolio and provides services to other innovative industries as well. Slot Consulting was founded in 2001 in Budapest, Hungary. The term “slot” indicates partly the strong airport relation but also the fact that we are keen to find the slots, niche areas both for our clients or for our own developments. Slot Consulting is involved in European research programmes from the beginning. We have an outstanding reference portfolio in European aviation research projects and so Slot Consulting is one of the leading European SME in this field. Performing research in consortium with leading European players is an opportunity to learn the directions of the European air transport and aeronautics research trends, the general research and development principles and to improve our expertise in the focus areas. This helps us to be more innovation focused. Slot Consulting has done ATM market assessment for application of new technologies and service provision. The researched area has covered mainly Central Europe and the focus was on technological, economical, and political environment for service provision. Slot Consulting has participated in the National Aeronautical Strategy development - Slot Consulting regularly participates in development of the National Aeronautical Strategy building providing expertise in ATM and airport related regulations. Slot Consulting has done Hungarian Aeronautical potential research - A study was done by Slot Consulting on Hungarian Aeronautical industry potential on request of Canadian Embassy to establish the industry potential and possible areas of Hungarian - Canadian cooperation.