15 May 2014 14:35

The Civil Aviation Department is set to become an independent state service operating as a private company by 2015, Communications and Works Minister Marios Demetriades said yesterday.
Air traffic control services in Cyprus will be assigned to the company with the aim of providing better services, the minister said, adding he had already received a preliminary study on the new company's formation.
He expects a similar study on the restructuring of the Civil Aviation Department to be handed over by summer.
The minister was speaking after a meeting with Eurocontrol Director Network Manager Joe Sultana, on an official visit to Nicosia yesterday.
According to Demetriades, changes at the department will be decided on and begin to take effect after the agreement of all those involved has been secured.
He said many countries managed air aviation services, including flight control, in this way to provide the highest possible quality of services to aircraft.
Sultana has visited Cyprus several times since 2012 to help solve issues connected to flight control in Nicosia Flight Information Region (FIR).
The most recent Eurocontrol report, for March, which is considered to be a month with low air traffic, recorded delays of 2.74 minutes per flight in Cyprus, making the country the worst performer for the month.
Staff and organisational problems as well as airborne exercises by foreign military were amongst the factors blamed for the delays, which cost airlines tens of millions of euros per year.
The second worst case in Europe had a significantly smaller delay at 1.03 minutes per flight while the 18 other delays averaged at between two and 48 seconds.
Air traffic in Cyprus in March this year was also 3% down on 2013, according to the report.
Nicosia, meanwhile, will from today host the Flight Safety Foundation Mediterranean's 5th International Conference. The two-day event is this year themed on 'Aviation Safety Performance: Can it be measured?'
Sultana will chair the conference which is expected to attract 170 participants from dozens of countries.


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