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Provision of air navigation services in the single European sky

To create the single European sky, measures are needed to ensure the safe and efficient provision of air navigation services consistent with the organisation and use of airspace. A harmonised framework needs to be established for the provision of such services in order to respond adequately to demand from airspace users and to regulate air traffic safely and efficiently.

ACT

Regulation (EC) No 550/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2004 on the provision of air navigation services in the single European sky (the service provision Regulation) [See amending act(s)].

SUMMARY

This regulation forms part of a package of air traffic management legislation designed to create a single European sky as of 31 December 2004. This will make for optimum use of European airspace, with resulting benefits in terms both of delays and of growth in air transport.

The regulation establishes common requirements to ensure that air navigation services are provided safely and efficiently, on a continuous and interoperable basis, throughout the Community. It introduces a harmonised system of certification and lays down rules for designating service providers.

National supervisory authorities

National supervisory authorities must ensure appropriate supervision of the application of the regulation, particularly with regard to the safe and efficient operation of air navigation service providers (public or private entities providing air navigation services) which provide services relating to the airspace falling under the responsibility of the European Union (EU) countries.

Each national supervisory authority must organise proper inspections and surveys to check compliance with the regulation’s requirements. The air navigation service provider concerned must facilitate this work. However, the national supervisory authorities may delegate the inspections and surveys to recognised organisations meeting certain requirements.

Licensing of controllers

Once the regulation has entered into force, the Commission will, if appropriate, present a proposal on the licensing of controllers to harmonise the licensing systems for controllers, increase the availability of controllers and promote mutual recognition of licences.

Common requirements

Common requirements for the provision of air navigation services must include the following: technical and operational competence and suitability, systems and processes for safety and quality management, reporting systems, quality of services, financial strength, liability and insurance cover, ownership and organisational structure (including the prevention of conflicts of interest), security, and human resources (including adequate staffing plans).

Certification of air navigation service providers

All provision of air navigation services within the Community is subject to certification by EU countries. Certificates must specify the rights and obligations of air navigation service providers, including compliance with the common requirements and non-discriminatory access to services for airspace users, with particular regard to safety.

Designation of air traffic service providers

To ensure the provision of air traffic services on an exclusive basis within specific airspace blocks (airspace of specified dimensions within which air navigation services are provided) in respect of the airspace under their responsibility, EU countries must designate an air traffic service provider holding a valid certificate in the Community.

Functional airspace blocks

EU countries must ensure the implementation of functional airspace blocks to reach the necessary capacity and efficiency of the air traffic management network within the single European sky, maintaining a high level of safety and a reduced environmental impact. Functional airspace blocks can only be established by mutual agreement from all EU countries and, where appropriate, non-EU countries responsible for any airspace included in the functional airspace block. To facilitate the implementation of the functional airspace blocks, the Commission may designate a functional airspace blocks system coordinator who will be responsible for overcoming any difficulties encountered in the negotiation stages, thereby speeding up the entire process. This person will act impartially and at the request of all EU countries and, where appropriate, non-EU countries responsible for any airspace included in the functional airspace block.

Relations between service providers

Air navigation service providers may avail themselves of the services of other service providers that have been certified in the Community.

Transparency of accounts

Air navigation service providers must draw up, submit to audit and publish their financial accounts.

Access to and protection of data

Operational data (information relating to all flight phases) must be exchanged in real time between all air navigation service providers, airspace users and airports to facilitate their operational needs.

Charging schemes

The charging scheme must be based on account of the air navigation service costs incurred by service providers for the benefit of airspace users. The following principles must be applied when establishing the cost-base for charges:

  • the cost to be shared among airspace users is the determined cost of providing air navigation services;
  • the costs to be taken into account in this context are those assessed in relation to the facilities and services provided for and implemented under the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Regional Air Navigation Plan, European Region;
  • the cost of different air navigation services must be identified separately;
  • cross-subsidy is not allowed between en-route services and terminal services. Cross-subsidy is only allowed between different air navigation services in the above categories when justified for objective reasons;
  • transparency of the cost-base for charges must be guaranteed.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Regulation (EC) No 550/2004

20.04.2004

-

OJ L 96 of 31.03.2004

Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1070/2009

4.12.2009

-

OJ L 300 of 14.11.2009

Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 550/2004 have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference purposes only.

RELATED ACTS

Commission Regulation (EU) No 176/2011 of 24 February 2011 on the information to be provided before the establishment and modification of a functional airspace block [Official Journal L 51 of 25.2.2011].

Communication from the Commission of 20 December 2007 – First Report on the implementation of the Single Sky Legislation: achievements and the way forward [COM(2007) 845 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1794/2006 of 6 December 2006 laying down a common charging scheme for air navigation services [Official Journal L 341 of 7.12.2006].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 2096/2005 of 20 December 2005 laying down common requirements for the provision of air navigation services [Official Journal L 335 of 21.12.2005].

Regulation (EC) No 549/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2004 laying down the framework for the creation of the single European sky (framework Regulation) [Official Journal L 96 of 31.03.2004].

Regulation (EC) No 551/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2004 on the organisation and use of the airspace in the single European sky [Official Journal L 96 of 31.03.2004].

Regulation (EC) No 552/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2004 on the interoperability of the European Air Traffic Management network (interoperability Regulation) [Official Journal L 96 of 31.03.2004].

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 1 December 1999: The creation of the single European sky [COM(1999) 614 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Last updated: 07.07.2011
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