European airline association Airlines for Europe (A4E) is calling on the European Union (EU) to take “immediate action” to remove European air space inefficiencies.
The chief operating officers (COOs) of Europe’s leading airlines – accounting for nearly half a billion passengers per year – met in Brussels this week to urge the EU to tackle the bottlenecks affecting European air space. This situation provoked unacceptable delays last summer, frustrating travel plans for millions of passengers.
Key industry players agreed that the current system has reached its limit and urgent changes are needed.
The airlines, association of air navigation service providers (CANSO), European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and Eurocontrol signed up to the A4E ‘Efficient Airspace Declaration.’
In doing so they have also pledged to ensure that initial projects from the European Commission’s Airspace Architecture Study and Wise Persons Group are jointly agreed and launched in early 2019.
And the Eurocontrol Network Manager implements a coordinated approach to oversee the operation of the network for Summer 2019.
The Eurocontrol Network Manager defines and implements network measures with airlines and providers so that there is sufficient capacity for 2019 and any new regulation is ‘future-proof’ and takes into account current operational and technological advancements.
A4E managing director, Thomas Reynaert (pictured above) said, “The reputation of Europe is at stake. Reform of EU airspace must be a top priority for the next Commission and all involved national bodies. Passengers deserve an efficient European aviation industry and that can only be delivered with a seamless approach to EU airspace.”
Eurocontrol’s statistics show there were 9.32 million minutes of en-route delays in 2017. By the end of 2018, this figure is expected to increase by 50 per cent
“The Eurocontrol Network Manager is working collaboratively with the Air Navigation Service Providers as well as with airlines on a number of urgent quick win network measures that we believe will help manage the air traffic management system in 2019. It’s really essential that all parties work together over the coming months in order to minimise potential delays next summer,” said Eurocontrol director general, Eamonn Brennan.t
With its Seamless European Sky vision, A4E is calling for the creation of a future airspace which seamlessly integrates the different national airspaces under a single operational concept.
EU Member States will maintain sovereignty of their airspace while cooperating across borders in order to facilitate seamless and more efficient flight operations on behalf of passengers.
Participants at the A4E ‘Vision for Airspace 2025’ COO Forum included leaders from across the European aviation industry, including: A4E member airlines and manufacturers, the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), Eurocontrol, the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), the European Commission, the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations (IFATCA), SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU) and many others.