Brussels, 12 March 2014
Aviation: European Parliament gives boost to the Single European Sky
The Commission welcomes today's vote in the European Parliament to support, strengthen and push forward the Single European Sky 2+ (SES 2+) initiative as a key move to accelerate the implementation of Single European Sky.
Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, said: "The Single European Sky initiative is crucial to boost competitiveness in the aviation sector, create jobs, and contribute to the European economy's growth. Today's vote in the Parliament gives a boost to the entire project. It is now up to the Member States to take this important issue forward, and deliver a truly efficient air traffic system in Europe".
The SES 2 + initiative looks to head off a capacity crunch as the number of flights is forecast to increase by 50% over the next 20 years. Inefficiencies in Europe's fragmented airspace bring extra costs of close to 5 billion Euros each year to airlines and their customers. They add 42 kilometres to the distance of an average flight forcing aircraft to burn more fuel, generate more emissions, pay more in costly user charges and suffer greater delays. The United States controls the same amount of airspace, with more traffic, at almost half the cost.
With full implementation of the SES potential annual savings are calculated to be in the order of €2.9 billion per year for airlines, with a reduction of emissions by 2.4 million tonnes of CO2. This will boost competitiveness and growth in the sector.
With the SES2+ the Commission proposed to update the four regulations creating the Single European Sky (SES), and amend rules governing the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Key elements of the proposal include:
Member States will have to agree on their positions vis-à-vis the Commission proposal and the Parliament amendments.
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