22-Apr-2013 9:49 AM

EESC: There is no single market without a single European airspace

European Economic and Social Committee stated (19-Apr-2013) a single European airspace will not emerge without greater leadership from the European Commission and a better enforcement of EU legislation and expressed its opposition to air traffic management services monopolies. The pronnouncements were made during the EESC's Apr-2013 plenary session. 

  • Single European Sky: EESC gave an opinion on the 'Single European Sky II +' legislation, which was adopted at the EESC's plenary session following a request from the European Commission. Dec-2012 was the deadline for creating nine cross-border functional airspace blocks (FABs), intended to replace the current 27 separate national air traffic control areas. However, only two of these are up and running in a truly operational sense, the Danish-Swedish and British-Irish airspaces. EESC Employers' president Group Jacek Krawczyk stated that to put an end to the patchy implementation of the SES II legislation, the European Commission must bring infringement proceedings against Member States which failed to enact it and fine them if found in breach of the law. The EESC sees a single airspace as indispensable to the smooth running of the internal market.
  • Air traffic management services: EESC came out in favour of opening up ancillary air traffic management services to competition. Meteorological services, training and communication navigation surveillance services could be better, and more efficient if they were subject to market conditions and tendering procedures, said the EESC. It also said that the provision of core air traffic management services is far from optimal across the EU. According to Mr Krawczyk: "The wide range of navigational charges in Europe suggests that there is significant potential for lower charges through closer coordination and standardisation in EU air traffic services." [more - original PR]

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