European airspace users support the European Commission’s move to break the deadlock of Single European Sky and strongly condemn the industrial actions of air traffic controllers

- Brussels, Belgium

European airspace users supported the initiative of the European Commission to revise the Single European Sky (SES) regulation with the so-called SES II+ proposal, announced today, which represents a further step down the road of realising the long-held commitment to create a true Single European Sky.

The airspace users therefore condemn the industrial actions by the air traffic controllers’ trade unions in France and the European Action Day organised for tomorrow by the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) in reaction to the proposals.

Even if the specific measures proposed in the Commission’s latest legislative package are insufficiently ambitious to accelerate defragmentation and eliminate the current inefficiency of European Air Traffic Management (ATM), the Commission is right to continue the momentum of reform.

The heads of the airspace users’ associations AEA, EBAA, ELFAA and ERA comment:

“Instead of industrial actions and counterproductive confrontation, which will severely penalise European air passengers, airspace users call for a clear commitment by all stakeholders, including states, to work together to achieve the successful and timely implementation of the Single European Sky. There is a real need to adress this situation urgently: solutions exist but they require a real political and institutional impulse.”

The lack of the SES costs some €14m per day and has a negative impact on aviation’s carbon emissions. A comprehensive and timely implementation is necessary to eliminate the current fragmentation of airspace and to improve the competitiveness of European aviation. The continuing crisis in the aviation sector and particularly in the airspace users’ industry adds urgency to bringing European ATM services to an efficiency level, comparable with global best practice. There is a clear need for more ambitious technological, operational and economic targets at a European level, while ensuring fully compliant application by all stakeholders.

“While the newly-proposed regulation sets definite, if modest EU targets, it is less clear on appropriate measures to enforce them. After eight years of unsuccessful attempts to harmonise the European airspace, European consumers need to see solutions now. We urge the policy-makers in the European Parliament and the EU Council to break the current deadlock of SES by adopting and enforcing a legal framework to take the Single European Sky from concept to reality.” – agree the heads of the associations.


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