Member states must overcome their reluctance to hand over sovereignty on air-traffic control systems and speed up the implementation of a unified European system in order to improve industry’s efficiency, enhance safety and slash CO2 emissions, according to a report by high-level experts.
A group of experts appointed by the European Commission adopted a report, on 6 July 2007, urging the EU to speed up the implementation of its single European sky (SES).
According to the report, improved air-traffic management through the SES “can play a vital role in increasing capacity and reducing the environmental impact of aviation”.
At a time when European air traffic is set to double by 2020 and EU nations are striving to limit the impact of this increasing travel on the environment – notably by integrating aviation into the EU’s carbon cap-and-trade scheme (see LinksDossier on aviation and emissions trading) – the report points out that the challenge for Europe is not to look for new systems but to accelerate the delivery of existing initiatives such as the SES.
The report sets out ten recommendations, including granting more power to EU bodies such as Eurocontrol and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in setting the regulatory framework in Europe, further involving industry in order to come up with more market-oriented solutions, and addressing the EU’s airport-capacity crunch to avoid bottlenecks on the ground.