IATA welcomed (11-Jun-2013) European Commission proposals to strengthen the legislative basis for the Single European Sky (SES). IATA said the proposals are in response to the failure of European states to make progress towards the SES and its important goals: an improvement in safety by a factor of ten, a 10% reduction in aviation’s environmental impact, a 50% reduction in air traffic management costs and a three-fold increase in capacity. IATA stated that the EC's proposals include several elements which are well aligned with the 'Blueprint for a Single European Sky', presented by airspace users represented by IATA, the Association of European Airlines, and the European Regions Airline Association, which sets out key SES objectives. The EC's proposals include:
- The designation of an independent Performance Review Body;
- The unbundling of support services;
- Greater independence and competence for Civil Aviation Authorities;
- The need for more consultation by Air Navigation Service Providers on capital expenditure.
IATA noted three specific concerns with the EC proposals:
- The new performance review body must have strong powers to enforce targets;
- The clearer role definition and enhanced capabilities of aviation authorities must reduce duplication and not increase costs;
- Changing of the definition of Functional Airspace Block (FAB) to ‘an industrial partnership’ gives rise to concerns that states could avoid prosecution for non-compliance with FAB requirements.
IATA also expressed disappointment with strikes and demonstrations called for by the European Transport Workers Federation (ETF) in response to this "much-needed" modernisation of European air traffic management. IATA director general and CEO Tony Tyler said the EC "shares the industry’s frustration with the failure of European states to progress the SES. Every year that SES languishes in limbo is a EUR5 billion knock to European competitiveness and costs the environment 8.1 million tonnes of wasted carbon emission". [more - original PR]