Single European Sky Agreement

The Single European Sky initiative aims to increase the efficiency of air traffic management and air navigation services by reducing the fragmentation of European airspace. It is in the nature of things that this ongoing initiative is open to pan-European and neighbouring countries. The Single European Sky initiative was launched in response to delays caused by aviation, which had reached its peak in Europe in the late 1990s. The SES aims to reduce the fragmentation of European airspace (between Member States, civil and military uses and technologies), thereby increasing its capacity and the efficiency of air traffic management and air navigation services. It is in the nature of things that the initiative is open to neighbouring countries across Europe and in its implementation. In practice, the SES is expected to lead to shorter flight times (due to shorter distances and fewer delays) and, consequently, to a reduction in flight costs and aircraft emissions. The first set of common requirements for the definition of the single European company was adopted in 2004 (SES I); These include Regulation (EC) No 549/2004 establishing the framework for the creation of a single European sky, Regulation (EC) No 550/2004 on the provision of air navigation services, Regulation (EC) No 551/2004 on the organisation and use of the airspace in the single European sky[4] and Regulation (EC) No 552/2004 on the interoperability of the European air traffic management network. That framework was amended in 2009 (SES II) to include performance-based mechanisms (Regulation (EC) No 1070/2009). It was also complemented by the extension of EU aviation safety rules (and the related responsibilities of the European Aviation Safety Agency) to AIR TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT operations, ANS and airports[5]. At the same time, a number of implementing rules and technical standards have been adopted either by the Commission under the comitology procedure or, more rarely, by the legislator[6]. Parliament has always striven to remove obstacles to the creation of the Single European Sky through a pragmatic approach. In this context, it strongly and successfully stressed the need for close cooperation between the civil and military sectors in the context of flexible use of airspace, although Member States were still reluctant to tackle the problem.

Parliament also proposed the creation of an industry consultation body to enable stakeholders to advise the Commission on the technical aspects of the SES. In addition, Parliament has always stressed the crucial role that Eurocontrol must play in the implementation of the SES and the need to promote cooperation with neighbouring countries in order to extend the initiative beyond the EU`s borders. The Single European Sky (SES) initiative was launched in 1999 to improve the performance of air traffic management (ATM[1]) and air navigation services (ANS[2]) through better integration of European airspace. The stated benefits of the SES could potentially be enormous: compared to 2004, the SES (once completed around 2030-2035) could triple airspace capacity, halve the cost of ATM, increase safety tenfold and reduce the environmental impact of air transport by 10%[3]. In 2019, nothing in the plan had been officially realized, resulting in additional costs of €6 billion and 11.6 million megatonnes of excess CO2 emissions this year alone. [2] In September 2019, 21 aviation organisations, including Airlines for Europe (A4E), AIRE, ACI Europe, CANSO, ERA and IATA, signed an agreement in Brussels to promote the creation of an SES and work with EU institutions and Member States to achieve this. [17] The Commission has appointed 15 experts in this field from a group of wise men to assess the current situation and future needs. [4] Following the inauguration of the Prodi Commission in September 1999, the Commissioner for Transport, Loyola de Palacio, made an effort to structurally reform air traffic management throughout Europe, as she and many others had concluded that Eurocontrol was not able to carry out its tasks effectively, in particular its decision-making and the non-application of the agreements. By the end of 1999, the European Commission had sought the approval of all EU transport ministers for the “creation of a single European sky”, which includes structural integration and reform of air traffic systems, and had set up a high-level group of high-level civil and military aviation authorities representing Member States to develop concrete policy proposals. [8] The disruption of air traffic following the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 led to an accelerated pooling of Member States` air navigation systems in the Single European Sky and the immediate creation of a crisis coordination group to deal with future traffic disruptions.

[6] On 2 December 2010, France, Germany, Switzerland and the Benelux countries agreed to form the FABEC (Functional Airspace Block Europe Central), the third FAB to be created after the Danish-Swedish and Anglo-Irish blocs. The FABs were due to come into force by 2012, but delays were expected due to protests by ATC unions. [12] FAB CE, composed of Austria, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, was founded in 2011. [13] Until the 26th. As of October 2012, only the Anglo-Irish and Danish-Swedish FABs were fully implemented, while the other 7 FABs were still at different stages of development; the deadline of 4 December 2012 for the full implementation of the Single European Sky has not been met. [5] The Single European Sky GTA Research Programme (SESAR) is a major public-private interprofessional initiative. It brings together the aviation industry to develop new technologies and solutions that will improve the management of European airspace and monitor its implementation. The Borealis Alliance is a leading alliance of air navigation service providers (ANSPs) that enables its members to achieve better performance for stakeholders through commercial collaboration. In the first four years of operation, the company achieved more than €70 million in potential savings for its customers, including 232,000 tonnes of CO2 and 73,000 tonnes of fuel. Major projects included the first operational attempt at dynamic cross-border sectorisation – the tactical shift of air traffic services between providers and a world first in operational procedures for cross-border arrivals management, slowing down aircraft across borders to reduce the time they have to spend in airport waiting chimneys.

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