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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 evolutions have reduced the need for large-scale ground-based infrastructure and expensive equipment, questioning the natural monopoly character of the industry. So it is the right moment to study the liberalization and introduction of competition in the ATM sector.

Competition can be introduced at various levels and in different ways. The overall goal of COMPAIR is to study various institutional and market design approaches for introducing competition for en-route ATM services, in order to assess their potential contribution to the European Single European Sky objectives. The project will pursue the following objectives:

  • 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.


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