The European Commission (EC) plans to propose new legislation to accelerate implementation of the Single European Sky (SES) program and is threatening legal action against national governments that have failed to fulfill their obligations to the far-reaching air traffic management (ATM) reorganization. In an October 11 speech in Cyprus, EC transport commissioner Siim Kallas acknowledged that SES “is not delivering” on its goals of halving ATM costs while tripling airspace capacity.
Single European Sky
The reality is pretty obvious: managing fewer flights can only help European air traffic control meet the tough targets that were designed to prepare it for a wholesale transformation to a radical space-based regime. The latest statistics show that Europe-wide, the en-route delay in 2012 is now 0.45 minutes per flight–well down from the figure last year of 1.1 minutes and already lower than the 0.5 minutes target for 2014.
Participation in the next-generation European airspace system will require business aircraft operators to invest in new equipment–to the tune of some $3.45 billion between now and 2024–as the concept of “first-come, first-served” is gradually retired, Patrick Ky, executive director of the Single European Sky ATM Research (Sesar) Joint Undertaking, told EBACE attendees yesterday.
The annual ATC Global conference and exhibition, held earlier this month in Amsterdam, attempted to bring into sharper focus the vision of a Single European Sky (SES).
The FAA and a group of European air navigation service providers signed a joint statement of purpose to work toward a “future interoperable aviation system that is operationally driven and technology enhanced.” Europe and the U.S. are both undertaking ATC modernization programs: Sesar (Single European Sky ATM Research) in Europe and NextGen in the U.S. Under the agreement, the parties will coordinate on areas such as systems implementation, program management and transitioning to these new systems.
Major players in ATC are meeting in Amsterdam this week for ATC Global, which has long been considered the leading international event for the ATC community. This year’s conference and exhibition will feature more than 200 exhibiting companies and is expected to draw some 5,400 attendees.
The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) is voicing its concerns over the European Commission’s draft regulation for airport slot allocation. “The association is hugely disappointed that the EC, despite robust arguments against, has maintained a recast of its slot regulation…based solely on the number of passengers carried,” EBAA said.
The Association of European Airlines (AEA), the European Low Fares Airline Association (ELFAA), the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) and the International Air Carrier Association (IACA) have jointly issued a plea to EU member states “to stop procrastinating” on the Single European Sky project “and finally
On several fronts Europe’s regional airlines face challenges to achieve parity with larger airlines–which operate larger aircraft and wield more clout–and the heavily subsidized rail sector.