Last call: Realise a true Single European Sky 2+

EBAA Joint Position Paper with A4E, era and IATA calling EU legislators to expedite the adoption of the Single European Sky 2+ proposal.

The EU aviation industry still welcomes the vision of the Single European Sky 2+ (SES 2+) and sees more need than ever for a big step forward toward seamless, harmonised, and cost-efficient Air Traffic Management (ATM) services. The proposed revised regulatory framework from the Commission is essential to modernising the structures of European airspace. The revision has been on the table for many years and its full implementation is long overdue. A proper revision will improve airspace efficiency and capacity, while also reducing CO2 emissions.

Now, three years after the European Commission’s recasting of the SES 2+ proposal, little progress has been made. This comes as aircraft operators operating in Europe face rising costs and increasing capacity problems. This is leading to delays and higher CO2 emissions. Europe’s operators have been pushing for the clear benefits of SES2+ to be realised. But instead of making progress and taking big steps forward, the compromises found so far are falling far behind what is needed. In some instances, we even risk falling behind the current status quo.
We are therefore asking EU legislators to make substantial progress on the SES 2+ file and to avoid coming to a poor compromise for compromise’s sake. To strengthen the European Single Market for aviation, Europe needs:

▪ An Independent European Regulator (“new” Performance Review Body (PRB)): a politically independent organisation with regulatory powers and clear roles and responsibilities including target setting, assessing performance plans, detailed examinations, and imposing corrective measures.

▪ Independent National Supervisory Authorities (NSA) that are free from any influence of public or private bodies to support EU aviation, while taking into account national legal environments and the “new” PRB in the best, most competent, and effective way.

▪ Operational performance measures instead of Modulation of Charges or a Common Unit Rate as these concepts have no positive impact on CO2 emissions but rather push fuel inefficient flying.

▪ A transparent and independent Target Setting Process leading to ambitious Performance Targets reflecting airspace user needs. The PRB/NSAs should ensure delivery and corrective measures.

▪ Charges and cost principles should be regulated through secondary regulation. This increases flexibility and empowers the PRB/NSAs to implement rules and structures as necessary. Based on the COVID 19 experience, the financing of the ATM system needs to be re-evaluated.


We are calling on EU policymakers and negotiators to refocus on the concept of a unified and harmonised Single and Seamless European Sky as reflected in the Industry Consultation Body (ICB) “ICB Vision for a Single European Sky”. SES2+ must not cement the status quo or stifle innovation. The EU aviation industry needs an updated regulatory framework to increase capacity and improve airspace efficiency. This will ensure maximum connectivity for EU citizens, but most importantly, lead to maximum efficiency and reductions in CO2 emissions.

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