5-May-2010 9:02 AM

EU Transport Ministers announce results of extraordinary meeting

EU Transport Ministers announced (04-May-2010) they have agreed on a single EU immediate response to the ash cloud crisis and expressed their support for the European Commission's approach on the need for flexibility to ease the pressure on airline. Key outcomes of the meeting are: [more]

  • Air passenger rights regulation:
    • Regulations on air passenger rights remain fully applicable;
    • All relevant national authorities guarantee to fully respect these rights;
    • Agreement on the need for further co-ordination to ensure uniform application: the Commission will continue to monitor the situation and favour a harmonised application by Member States.
    • Lessons of the crisis will be incorporated in the framework of the review of the legislation, scheduled for later this year.
  • State aid:
    • The exceptional circumstances may justify support measures to offset losses incurred by the closure of the EU airspace;
    • Member States agreed to preserve "as much as possible" a level-playing field and avoid undue distortions of competition;
    • Commission could examine favourably such measures and present a communication establishing clear and precise guidelines.
  • Revision of risk management planning for any future disruption caused by volcanic activity:
    • Commission proposed to take immediate action to create an expert group of all stakeholders (including EUROCONTROL, EASA and European Member States) in order to develop a new European methodology for safety risks and risk management;
    • Announced support for the aim for the EU to submit a proposal for a new regulatory framework to the ICAO General Assembly in Sep-2010.
  • Fast-track the Single European Sky package:
    • Acceleration of Single European Sky has been given the "highest political priority";
    • Ministers have agreed on seven concrete actions to be taken in the coming weeks;
    • In particular, the nomination of the network manager, the acceleration of the development of the functional airspace blocks, and the implementation of the performance scheme are seen as critical.
  • Mobility plan for Europe
    • Ministers have acknowledged that we need to address pan-European crisis planning for transport in case of major disruptions;
    • Efforts should be dedicated to ensure that, if one mode of transport can not deliver, other transport modes can quickly substitute in the interest of passengers;
    • Welcomed the Commission’s intention to work to identify the main obstacles and determine the solutions in case of a sudden crisis.
  • Bring all actors together
    • Considered positively the intention to create an Aviation Platform at EU level.

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