Today, 12th March, the European Parliament in full session adopted the report of its Transport and Tourism Committee, drafted by Rapporteur Marian-Jean Marinescu MEP, on the Single European Sky II+ programme to defragment European airspace.
The Association of European Airlines warmly welcomes this development. In the words of AEA CEO Athar Husain Khan: “The clue is in the name. Almost ten years ago we had the first Single European Sky legislation, which failed to deliver. So we had SES II, which failed to deliver, now we have SES II+. Hopefully this package will provide the appropriate means to overcome the unwillingness of Member States to move forward, and break the current deadlock that we are facing in the implementation of the Single Sky”.
The potential rewards are huge. It is estimated that the fragmentation of European airspace and infrastructure generates €5 billion annually of cost burden, creates 19.4 million minutes of flight delays and produces 8.1 million tonnes of unnecessary carbon emissions. The victims are therefore the environment and the costumers. While the immediate beneficiaries of a Single European Sky will be consumers and the environment, in the broader perspective the project will be a catalyst for jobs and growth – critical to Europe as it struggles to revive its economy and to support its role in the highly competitive context of global aviation.
AEA therefore calls upon the Member States to recognise the Single Sky as a truly pan-European flagship project and abolish the ‘frontiers in the sky’ which contrast so sharply with the borderless travel which has enhanced mobility at ground level.
“The TRAN Committee has done a good job”, said Mr Husain Khan. “We’re aware of the national sensitivities which have made progress so difficult to achieve, but the benefits from a truly Single Sky for Europe make the effort worthwhile”.