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Brussels, 3 December 2010

Air transport: Single European Sky performance targets agreed; will lead to savings of more than one billion euro

The committee of experts from European Member States have yesterday unanimously agreed the performance targets for the Single European Sky, presented by the European Commission in the areas of environment, capacity/delays, and cost-efficiency for the period 2012 to 2014. The package will deliver significant safety improvements, fewer delays, lower costs and reduced CO2 emissions. For example, airspace users are expected to save €340 million per year in service provision costs or, including indirect costs, more than €1 billion over the whole period, while at the same time harmful CO2 emissions will be reduced by 500,000 tons a year.

Vice-President Siim Kallas, Commissioner responsible for transport, said: “Today, in line with the discussions I had yesterday in the Transport Council, the Single European Sky has achieved a key milestone in its implementation with this agreement on ambitious but achievable performance targets. This will deliver savings of more than €1 billion, with everyone sharing in the benefits: passengers, companies and the environment. The agreement today is a very significant step forwards. And the Single European Sky is yet another example of where it pays to work together on a European scale.”

Safety boost

Safety remains the top priority. It will be reflected in the development of national performance plans, and will be monitored by the European Aviation Safety Agency and the Performance Review Body.

Increased efficiency

These EU-wide targets, against which Member States, will have to establish their own performance plans at national or regional level, aim to stimulate air navigation service providers to achieve cost-efficiency gains. This means in real terms an estimated €340 million worth of savings for airspace users over the period until 2014. Under the new performance targets, the determined unit rate will decrease from 59.29 euro per service unit in 2011 to 53.93 euro per service unit in 2014.

Fewer delays

Meeting capacity/delay targets will result in estimated savings of some €250 million every year as there will be fewer and shorter delays.

Benefits to the environment

In the environmental area, the European network manager (to be designated by the European Commission early in 2011) will be entrusted with the responsibility of putting in place straighter and shorter routes and a more efficient use of European airspace, with the aim of ensuring carbon-neutral air traffic growth. This will result in estimated savings of 500,000 tons of CO2 and 150,000 tons of fuel per annum and €200 million in fuel burn and flight time.

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