Aviation groups condemn single skies failure

Aviation groups condemn single skies failure

Aviation bodies have warned that plans to create a single European sky for air traffic services are falling apart after a further setback to the scheme.

The Association of European Airlines, European Regions Airline Association and other organisations critcised a decision to endorse a weakened performance and charging scheme for air navigation services for the 2015-19 period.

Iata estimated that passengers, airlines and the wider European economy are losing €5 billion a year from inefficient air traffic management.

“That’s the cost of the fragmentation of European airspace,” said chief executive and director Tony Tyler.

“But once again it looks like the cost-efficiency targets will be woefully short of what is required. The solution is a binding performance scheme, administered by a Europe-wide independent economic regulator.

"It’s the only way to motivate air navigation service providers (ANSPs) to rationalise the duplication and waste of the current system.

“For example, Europe does not need the 63 air traffic control centres that it has today. We could have more efficient service with no more than 40.”

The industry spoke out after the Single Sky Committee, consisting of representatives of the 27 EU member states, adopted the new performance and charging scheme regulations.

A joint statement from groups led by the International Air Carrier Association described the legal framework as a “retrograde step” for the establishment of the Single European Sky.

The Commission proposed an ambitious revision to the performance scheme for air navigation services last year to improve and amend shortfalls in the initial regulations for charging and performance.

The revised scheme was aiming to reduce the cost of flights, while increasing capacity and better preserving the environment.

But member states forced a compromise, which no longer reflects the original goals of the performance regulation and will further strengthen the already existing SES deadlock, according to the Iata.

In a joint statement, the airline associations, said: “Today we saw another example of the failures in building a Single Sky in Europe.

“We condemn the fact that the EU member states were finally able to weaken the proposed scheme which will result in further under-performance and will not incentivise the European air navigation service providers to improve their performance and reduced their costs.

“We find it unacceptable that the European flagship programme for aviation appears to be rapidly falling apart.”

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