28-Nov-2011 10:17 AM

SES 'at risk' as EU states lag on implementation

European Commission stated (25-Nov-2011) progress reports published on the Single European Sky (SES) scheme have "set alarm bells ringing" on member states performance to meet progress targets for the 2012-2014 period. The Commission's assessment shows a large majority of member states are at risk of missing critical targets for 2012. Siim Kallas, European Commission VP responsible for transport, warned there is a "genuine risk that we will lag behind and find ourselves unable to satisfy the rising demands of air travel, which is set to nearly double by 2030", cautioning 2012 is a "make or break year" for the SES scheme. Four key SES deliverables are set for 2012:

  • The performance scheme, setting key air traffic management (ATM) targets (to start early in 2012) – five of 27 member states are on target to meet cost and capacity/delay objectives. The Commission has issued recommendations asking member states to revise these targets. If necessary the Commission could adopt a binding decision requesting member states implement specific corrective measures, although a short time remains available for the targets to be met without recourse to this action;
  • The nine Functional Airspace Blocks (FAB) (to be operational by end-2012) – all FAB projects bar one "give serious cause for concern". Failure to take measures at national level could oblige the Commission to reopen the SES legislative packages to introduce a more radical solution;
  • The ATM network manager (already designated as EUROCONTROL);
  • The launch of the deployment phase of SESAR, the technological arm of SES (from 2014), moving from the R&D phase to the rollout of new equipment and technology. [more - European Commission] [more - full progress reports]