AEA calls for urgent action on Single European Sky

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Published: May 25, 2012

The Assn. of European Airlines (AEA) has renewed its call for the continent’s states to implement the Single European Sky (SES) system to improve air traffic control (ATW, Jan. 1).

Europe currently has a patchwork of air navigation service providers, resulting in inefficiencies in routing aircraft. The European Union (EU) has talked about implementing SES for many years but individual countries have dragged their feet, airlines have complained.

“We welcome the [European] Commission’s efforts to push through the SES, but we are furious that the largest EU member states are simply not delivering,” Lufthansa CEO Christoph Franz said Thursday at the AEA Presidents’ Assembly in Brussels.

The AEA represents 34 of the continent’s carriers.

“This fragmentation is ridiculous and unacceptable,” Franz said. “The Commission must stand firm, rejecting every national performance plan that falls short of the EU-wide target.”

Implementing SES and more direct routings would save European carriers some 10%-15% on their fuel bills, Franz said at a press conference. The AEA estimates this would save 16 million tonnes of CO2 emissions and some €3.7 billion ($ 4.68 billion) annually.

Last month, Europe’s SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) Joint Undertaking began a study to integrate Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into non-segregated airspace in a SESAR air traffic management scenario (ATW Daily News, April 30).

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