Single European Sky by
Bordeaux -The International Air Transport Association
(IATA) challenged Europe to deliver a Single European Sky (SES) by 2012.
“After decades of talks and little action, failure to implement an
effective SES is Europe’s biggest environmental embarrassment. In 2007,
this failure resulted in 21 million minutes of delays and 468 million
kilometres of unnecessary flight. This wasted 16 million tonnes of CO2. This
crisis that is gripping the airline industry highlights the fact that
airlines cannot afford the EUR 5 billion cost that this brings. And neither
can Europe afford the impact on its competitiveness. This must change
fast,” said IATA Director General and CEO Giovanni Bisignani in a
keynote address to the European Air Transport Summit being held in Bordeaux.
IATA fully supports the European Commission’s
This was proposed in the SES II Package proposed by Vice President Tajani in
June. “We need binding performance targets at the national and
community levels, functional airspace blocks (FABs) coordinated by a strong
network manager with harmonised safety oversight through EASA, and the
enabling SESAR technology to allow a Single European Sky to deliver its
promised benefits,” said Bisignani.
FABs and SESAR are the critical building blocks for an SES. The plan to combine European airspace into 9
cross-national FABs will increase system capacity by 70%, reduce average
delays to 1 minute or less, cut user costs by 50% and reduce the
environmental impact per flight by 10% by 2020 while improving safety.
“These 9 FABs cannot be kingdoms operating independently. We need a
strong network manager to drive efficiencies and meet binding performance
targets. And we need an EASA with sufficient resources to provide safety
oversight for airports and air navigation service providers,” said
IATA linked SES to Europe’s proposal to include aviation into
the European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in 2012.
“2012 is the year. We need 9 FABs in place, delivering benefits against
binding performance targets with a strong network manager. This is the
minimum requirement. Even if Europe chooses to overlook the major flaws of
its ETS proposal - the unilateral approach is illegal and the regional scope
is ineffective - the only credibility that is left is the SES. Airlines cannot
accept to be charged for emissions in Europe when the inefficiency of the
system forces them to waste 16 million tonnes of CO2 each year,” said
Bisignani attacked 2 persistent myths surrounding the SES.
“First, job losses are a misplaced fear when there is a global shortage
of air traffic controllers and SESAR (the technology component of SES) will
generate 200,000 highly skilled jobs in Europe. Second, FABs don’t
reduce sovereignty. Europe faces the same question with the Euro. Today nobody
questions the sovereignty of the Euro-Zone states. SES is no different.
Sovereignty is even institutionalised in the independent National Supervisory
Authority. These are two myths which we must kill with facts,” said
IATA’s Four Pillar Strategy to Address Climate Change is
delivering results. The
strategy - endorsed by industry and government focuses on technology,
operations, infrastructure and positive economic measures - including ETS.
Since 2004, IATA efforts, including route shortening and working directly
with airlines to implement best operational practices, has saved 59 million
tonnes of CO2 with a cost saving of US$12 billion. An effective SES would be
a key contributor to these efforts.
Europe must contribute to a global solution on economic measures
addressing change. “While focusing technical efforts to
deliver the SES by 2012, Europe must aim its political efforts on the
International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Article 2 of the Kyoto
Protocol gives ICAO the responsibility to find an effective global solution
for aviation’s emissions that is global and voluntary for states. This
summer the G8 affirmed this role in their Summit Declaration. With 44
European states among ICAO’s 189 contracting members and with three
states on the 15 member ICAO Group on International Aviation and Climate
Change (GIACC), Europe has a duty to ensure that ICAO delivers a global
result and to harmonise its approach with the global solution,” said
Don’t make the ETS proposal any worse. In the meantime, Bisignani urged Europe not to
include its misguided unilateral approach to aviation and ETS in the General
Review process of the European ETS. “Don’t make a bad decision
worse by including aviation in the ETS General Review. It makes absolutely no
sense to review something that has not even started yet, let alone even
consider raising auctioning levels beyond the current 15%,” said
Bisignani's full speech
- IATA (International Air Transport Association)
represents some 230 airlines comprising 93% of scheduled international