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The SES is vital for a safe, sustainable, and efficient European air transport industry

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  • Single European Sky project to reform Europe’s air traffic management system faces collapse
  • European states must support European Commission’s proposals to reboot stalled initiative
  • COVID-19 crisis makes the efficiency gains of the SES more critical than ever

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned that the Single European Sky (SES) project to reform Europe’s air traffic management system faces collapse if European states do not support the European Commission’s proposals to reboot the stalled initiative.

“The European Commission has been trying to deliver the benefits of SES since the early 2000s. But state inaction has meant that none of its targets have been met. New legislation, as proposed by the Commission, is the only way to force the reform and improvements that are desperately needed. But the intransigence and selfishness of key EU states and their air navigation service providers (ANSPs) threatens to collapse the latest Commission effort,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

The SES is vital for a safe, sustainable, and efficient European air transport industry. Among its benefits are:

  • An improvement in safety performance by a factor of ten
  • Greater capacity and fewer delays, giving a EUR 245 billion boost to Europe’s GDP and a million extra jobs annually from 2035
  • A 10% cut in EU aviation emissions, supporting the European Green Deal

“The COVID-19 crisis makes the efficiency gains of the SES more critical than ever. And the climate crisis makes the sustainability benefits essential. Europe talks a good game about the importance of sustainability and competitiveness. It’s time to put action behind those words with the SES. If the combined weight of the climate crisis and the COVID-19 crisis are not sufficiently compelling drivers for SES, it’s hard to know what could be,” said Walsh.

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