On 3 September, the European Parliament approved in its first reading Commissioner de Palacio’s proposals for a Single European Sky
The MEPs voted with an overwhelming majority in support of the plans for a Single European Sky originally drafted by EU Transport Commissioner Loyola de Palacio.
The proposed regulations set out the principles for a European-wide control system and are meant to increase flight safety and efficiency and to reduce delays. According to Commissioner de Palacio, the new system could save about 5 billion euro yearly in extra fuel, staffing costs and lost passenger time.
While airline companies back the plans, trade unions oppose them for fear of a privatisation of air traffic control and job losses. Some EU governments (e.g. France) also have reservations.
The proposal will be debated on the Transport Council of 3-4 October and then go back to the European Parliament for final approval.