EU urges member states failing on SES

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP April 17, 2014 10:04

EU urges member states failing on SES

The European Commission has formally requested Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg to improve their Functional Airspace Block (FAB), a common airspace arranged around traffic flows rather than state boundaries. FABs are a crucial step towards the implementation of a Single European Sky (SES).

Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, said: “We have to finally overcome national borders in the European airspace. FABs are a necessary, vital component of the Single European Sky. Right now these common airspaces exist only on paper; they are formally established but not yet functional. I urge Member States to step up their ambitions and push forward the implementation of the Single Sky”

All EU Member States should have implemented their FABs by 4 December 2012 according to Regulation (EC) No 550/2004. The FAB between Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Switzerland (FABEC) has been formally established through a State Agreement which came into force on 1 June 2013. However, progress on reorganisation of all the airspace involved has been slow, which causes delays, the consumption of more fuel and therefore more GHG emissions. Progress in the cost-effectiveness of air navigation services has been equally insufficient, which results in more money charged to airlines. Consequently, further work is required to ensure the optimization of the air navigation services and the use of airspace, regardless of national borders. The letters of formal notice ask those Member States to implement this further work.

The lack of progress on FABs is holding back the implementation of the EU’s Single European Sky to a significant degree, which in turn generates inefficiencies in the entire European Air Traffic Management in the range of some 30 to 40 % of total air navigation costs and charges levied in Europe. This represents a loss of some 5 billion euros annually. Additionally, planned safety enhancements in the Single European Sky are negatively impacted.

After the release of letters of formal notice, Member States have two months to react and send their considerations. On this basis the European Commission may or may not issue a Reasoned Opinion in accordance with Article 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP April 17, 2014 10:04
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