The SES has so far failed because ANSPs have had inadequate targets and insufficient independent oversight. The Commission’s proposal provides a remedy by giving regulators the power to enforce robust performance targets. IATA strongly supports the efforts of the Commission and some reform-minded states in a package that includes:
- The creation of powerful, independent national economic regulators, and an EU-wide regulatory agency, and
- The strengthening of the pan-European Network Manager to improve efficiency, which will help cut delays and emissions
“Air traffic control is a monopoly business. In every other business sector, monopoly suppliers are subjected to strong independent regulation—but not in air traffic control. European states make grandiose statements about climate action yet refuse to back common-sense reforms that would force ANSPs to make routings more efficient. And, oblivious to the EUR 27 billion collective loss made by European airlines last year, Europe’s ANSPs are demanding further price increases while sitting on at least EUR 2.5 billion of cash. This is pure madness. But, instead of driving solutions at this critical time, many states are positioning to block reforms and we are in serious danger of moving backwards,” said Walsh.
Many European states are considering blocking the reforms in favor of an alternative vision which will weaken the targets and regulatory oversight from what is currently in place. This is completely unacceptable and could collapse the entire package of reforms.
“Such a catastrophic failure of the Commission’s proposal would take years to recover from. We would have lost a real opportunity for change when it is vitally needed. And the environment and the European economy will pay a high price for that, along with travelers and airlines. It’s time for states to put an end to years of short-sighted political maneuvering and administrative paralysis and support the Commission’s proposal to finally deliver a Single European Sky,” said Walsh.
IATA calls on the transport ministers to adopt at the next Transport Council on 3 June a more ambitious general approach in line with the Commission’s proposal.