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Provision of air navigation services in the single European sky

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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

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 391/2013 lays down a common charging scheme for air navigation services. This charging scheme is based on the air navigation service costs incurred by service providers for the benefit of airspace users. The following principles underlie 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 are 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.

Governance and incentive mechanisms for the deployment of SESAR (Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research and development)

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 409/2013 sets out governance and incentive mechanisms for the deployment of SESAR. It defines an EU framework that will activate the SESAR deployment process and allow SESAR to fully deliver its benefits from concept to implementation.

It defines four main instruments to support SESAR's deployment :

  • common projects which aim to deploy ATM functionalities that are considered to be essential contributors to the improvement of the Union's ATM performance;
  • the deployment programme which translates the common projects into detailed deployment activities (implementation projects) that define how common projects should be implemented;
  • governance mechanisms that ensure a timely, synchronised and coordinated deployment of the SESAR concept of operations and that involves all stakeholders and the relevant EU and Single Sky bodies;
  • targeted incentives such as grants, loans, modulation of route charges, to support the coordination and the implementation of common projects.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 550/2004

20.04.2004

-

OJ L 96 of 31.03.2004

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official 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 Decision on the compliance of 2014 unit rates for charging zones under Article 17 of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 391/2013 [C(2013) 7095 final -Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 409/2013 of 3 May 2013 on the definition of common projects, the establishment of governance and the identification of incentives supporting the implementation of the European Air Traffic Management Master Plan. Text with EEA relevance. [Official Journal L 123 of 4.5.2013].

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 391/2013 of 3 May 2013 laying down a common charging scheme for air navigation services [Official Journal L 128 of 9 May 2013].

Communication from the Commission: Governance and incentive mechanisms for the deployment of SESAR, the Single European Sky's technological pillar. [COM(2011)0923 final].

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1034/2011 of 17 October 2011 on safety oversight in air traffic management and air navigation services and amending Regulation (EU) No 691/2010 (Official Journal L 271 of 18.10.2011).

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1035/2011 of 17 October 2011 laying down common requirements for the provision of air navigation services and amending Regulations (EC) No 482/2008 and (EU) No 691/2010 (Official Journal L 271 of 18.10.2011).

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].

Commission Regulation (EU) No 1191/2010 of 16 December 2010 amending Regulation (EC) No 1794/2006 laying down a common charging scheme for air navigation services [Official Journal L 333 of 17.12.2010].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 482/2008 of 30 May 2008 establishing a software safety assurance system to be implemented by air navigation service providers and amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 2096/2005 [Official Journal L 141, 31.5.2008].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1315/2007 of 8 November 2007 on safety oversight in air traffic management and amending Regulation (EC) No 2096/2005 [Official Journal L 291, 09.11.10.2007].

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].

PROPOSALS

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the implementation of the Single European Sky (recast). [COM(2013)410 final of 11.6.2013].

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 in the field of aerodromes, air traffic management and air navigation services.[COM(2013)409 final of 11.6.2013].

Last updated: 09.02.2014

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