2004R0551 — EN — 04.12.2009 — 001.001


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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

(the airspace Regulation)

(Text with EEA relevance)

(OJ L 096, 31.3.2004, p.20)

Amended by:

 

 

Official Journal

  No

page

date

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REGULATION (EC) No 1070/2009 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 21 October 2009

  L 300

34

14.11.2009




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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

(the airspace Regulation)

(Text with EEA relevance)



THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 80(2) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission ( 1 ),

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee ( 2 ),

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions ( 3 ),

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty ( 4 ), in the light of the joint text approved by the Conciliation Committee on 11 December 2003,

Whereas:

(1)

The creation of the single European sky requires a harmonised approach for regulation of the organisation and the use of airspace.

(2)

In the report of the High Level Group on the single European sky in November 2000 it is considered that airspace should be designed, regulated and strategically managed on a European basis.

(3)

The Communication of the Commission on the creation of the single European sky of 30 November 2001 calls for structural reform to permit the creation of the single European sky by way of a progressively more integrated management of airspace and the development of new concepts and procedures of air traffic management.

(4)

Regulation (EC) No 549/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2004 (the framework Regulation) ( 5 ) lays down the framework for the creation of the single European sky.

(5)

In Article 1 of the 1944 Chicago Convention on Civil Aviation, the Contracting States recognise that ‘every State has complete and exclusive sovereignty over the airspace above its territory’. It is within the framework of such sovereignty that the Member States of the Community, subject to applicable international conventions, exercise the powers of a public authority when controlling air traffic.

(6)

Airspace is a common resource for all categories of users that needs to be used flexibly by all of them, ensuring fairness and transparency whilst taking into account security and defence needs of Member States and their commitments within international organisations.

(7)

Efficient airspace management is fundamental to increasing the capacity of the air traffic services system, to providing the optimum response to various user requirements and to achieving the most flexible use of airspace.

(8)

The activities of Eurocontrol confirm that the route network and airspace structure cannot realistically be developed in isolation, as each individual Member State is an integral element of the European air traffic management network (EATMN), both inside and outside the Community.

(9)

A progressively more integrated operating airspace should be established for en-route general air traffic in the upper airspace; the interface between upper and lower airspace should be identified accordingly.

(10)

A European upper flight information region (EUIR) encompassing the upper airspace under the responsibility of the Member States within the scope of this Regulation should facilitate common planning and aeronautical information publication in order to overcome regional bottlenecks.

(11)

Airspace users face disparate conditions of access to, and freedom of movement within, the Community airspace. This is due to the lack of harmonisation in the classification of airspace.

(12)

The reconfiguration of airspace should be based on operational requirements regardless of existing boundaries. Common general principles for creating uniform functional airspace blocks should be developed in consultation with and on the basis of technical advice from Eurocontrol.

(13)

It is essential to achieve a common, harmonised airspace structure in terms of routes and sectors, to base the present and future organisation of airspace on common principles, and to design and manage airspace in accordance with harmonised rules.

(14)

The concept of the flexible use of airspace should be applied effectively; it is necessary to optimise the use of sectors of airspace, especially during peak periods for general air traffic and in high-traffic airspace, by cooperation between Member States in respect of the use of such sectors for military operations and training. To that end, it is necessary to allocate the appropriate resources for an effective implementation of the concept of the flexible use of airspace, taking into account both civil and military requirements.

(15)

Member States should endeavour to cooperate with neighbouring Member States to apply the concept of flexible use of airspace across national borders.

(16)

Differences in the organisation of civil-military cooperation in the Community restrict uniform and timely airspace management and the implementation of changes. The success of the single European sky is dependent upon effective cooperation between civil and military authorities, without prejudice to the prerogatives and responsibilities of the Member States in the field of defence.

(17)

Military operations and training should be safeguarded whenever the application of common principles and criteria is detrimental to their safe and efficient performance.

(18)

Adequate measures should be introduced to improve the effectiveness of air traffic flow management in order to assist existing operational units, including the Eurocontrol Central Flow Management Unit, to ensure efficient flight operations.

(19)

It is desirable to reflect upon the extension of upper airspace concepts to the lower airspace, in accordance with a timetable and appropriate studies,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:



CHAPTER I

GENERAL

Article 1

Objective and scope

1.  Within the scope of the framework Regulation, this Regulation concerns the organisation and the use of airspace in the Single European Sky. The objective of this Regulation is to support the concept of a progressively more integrated operating airspace within the context of the common transport policy and to establish common procedures for design, planning and management ensuring the efficient and safe performance of air traffic management.

2.  The use of airspace shall support the operation of the air navigation services as a coherent and consistent whole in accordance with 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) ( 6 ).

3.  Without prejudice to Article 10, this Regulation shall apply to the airspace within the ICAO EUR and AFI regions where Member States are responsible for the provision of air traffic services in accordance with the service provision Regulation. Member States may also apply this Regulation to airspace under their responsibility within other ICAO regions, on condition that they inform the Commission and the other Member States thereof.

4.  The Flight Information Regions comprised within the airspace to which this Regulation applies shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.



CHAPTER II

AIRSPACE ARCHITECTURE

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Article 3

European Upper Flight Information Region (EUIR)

1.  The Community and its Member States shall aim at the establishment and recognition by the ICAO of a single EUIR. To that effect, for matters which fall within the competence of the Community, the Commission shall submit a recommendation to the Council in accordance with Article 300 of the Treaty at the latest by 4 December 2011.

2.  The EUIR shall be designed to encompass the airspace falling under the responsibility of the Member States in accordance with Article 1(3) and may also include airspace of European third countries.

3.  The establishment of the EUIR shall be without prejudice to the responsibility of Member States for the designation of air traffic service providers for the airspace under their responsibility in accordance with Article 8(1) of the service provision Regulation.

4.  Member States shall retain their responsibilities towards the ICAO within the geographical limits of the upper flight information regions and flight information regions entrusted to them by the ICAO on the date of entry into force of this Regulation.

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Article 3a

Electronic aeronautical information

1.  Without prejudice to the publication by Member States of aeronautical information and in a manner consistent with that publication, the Commission, working in cooperation with Eurocontrol, shall ensure the availability of electronic aeronautical information of high quality, presented in a harmonised way and serving the requirements of all relevant users in terms of data quality and timeliness.

2.  For the purpose of paragraph 1, the Commission shall:

(a) ensure the development of a Community-wide aeronautical information infrastructure in the form of an electronic integrated briefing portal with unrestricted access to interested stakeholders. That infrastructure shall integrate access to and provision of required data elements such as, but not limited to aeronautical information, air traffic services reporting office (ARO) information, meteorological information and flow management information;

(b) support the modernisation and harmonisation of the provision of aeronautical information in its broadest sense in close cooperation with Eurocontrol and the ICAO.

3.  The Commission shall adopt detailed implementing rules for this Article in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 5(3) of the framework Regulation.

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Article 4

Rules of the air and airspace classification

The Commission shall, in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 5(3) of the framework Regulation, adopt implementing rules in order to:

(a) adopt appropriate provisions on rules of the air based upon ICAO standards and recommended practices;

(b) harmonise the application of the ICAO airspace classification, with appropriate adaptation, in order to ensure the seamless provision of safe and efficient air traffic services within the single European sky.

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Article 6

Network management and design

1.  The air traffic management (ATM) network functions shall allow optimum use of airspace and ensure that airspace users can operate preferred trajectories, while allowing maximum access to airspace and air navigation services. These network functions shall be aimed at supporting initiatives at national level and at the level of functional airspace blocks and shall be executed in a manner which respects the separation of regulatory and operational tasks.

2.  In order to achieve the objectives referred to in paragraph 1 and without prejudice to the responsibilities of the Member States with regard to national routes and airspace structures, the Commission shall ensure that the following functions are carried out:

(a) design of the European route network;

(b) coordination of scarce resources within aviation frequency bands used by general air traffic, in particular radio frequencies as well as coordination of radar transponder codes.

The functions listed in the first subparagraph shall not involve the adoption of binding measures of a general scope or the exercise of political discretion. They shall take into account proposals established at national level and at the level of functional airspace blocks. They shall be performed in coordination with military authorities in accordance with agreed procedures concerning the flexible use of airspace.

The Commission may, after consultation of the Single Sky Committee and in conformity with the implementing rules referred to in paragraph 4, entrust to Eurocontrol, or another impartial and competent body, the tasks necessary for the execution of the functions listed in the first subparagraph. These tasks shall be executed in an impartial and cost-effective manner and performed on behalf on Member States and stakeholders. They shall be subject to appropriate governance, which recognises the separate accountabilities for service provision and regulation, taking into consideration the needs of the whole ATM network and with the full involvement of the airspace users and air navigation service providers.

3.  The Commission may add to the list of the functions in paragraph 2 after proper consultation of industry stakeholders. Those measures, designed to amend non-essential elements of this Regulation by supplementing it, shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 5(4) of the framework Regulation.

4.  Detailed rules for the implementation of the measures referred to in this Article, except for those referred to in paragraphs 6 to 9, shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 5(3) of the framework Regulation. Those implementing rules shall address in particular:

(a) the coordination and harmonisation of processes and procedures to enhance the efficiency of aeronautical frequency management including the development of principles and criteria;

(b) the central function to coordinate the early identification and resolution of frequency needs in the bands allocated to European general air traffic to support the design and operation of European aviation network;

(c) additional network functions as defined in the ATM Master Plan;

(d) detailed arrangements for cooperative decision-making between the Member States, the air navigation service providers and the network management function for the tasks referred to in paragraph 2;

(e) arrangements for consultation of the relevant stakeholders in the decision-making process both at national and European levels; and

(f) within the radio spectrum allocated to general air traffic by the International Telecommunication Union, a division of tasks and responsibilities between the network management function and national frequency managers, ensuring that the national frequency management functions continue to perform those frequency assignments that have no impact on the network. For those cases which do have an impact on the network, the national frequency managers shall cooperate with those responsible for the network management function to optimise the use of frequencies.

5.  Aspects of airspace design other than those referred to in paragraph 2 shall be dealt with at national level or at the level of functional airspace blocks. This design process shall take into account traffic demands and complexity, national or functional airspace block performance plans and shall include full consultation of relevant airspace users or relevant groups representing airspace users and military authorities as appropriate.

6.  Member States shall entrust Eurocontrol or another impartial and competent body with the performance of air traffic flow management, subject to appropriate oversight arrangements.

7.  Implementing rules for air traffic flow management, including the necessary oversight arrangements, shall be developed in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 5(2) of the framework Regulation and adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 5(3) of the framework Regulation, with a view to optimising available capacity in the use of airspace and enhancing air traffic flow management processes. These rules shall be based on transparency and efficiency, ensuring that capacity is provided in a flexible and timely manner, consistent with the recommendations of the ICAO Regional Air Navigation Plan, European Region.

8.  The implementing rules for air traffic flow management shall support operational decisions by air navigation service providers, airport operators and airspace users and shall cover the following areas:

(a) flight planning;

(b) use of available airspace capacity during all phases of flight, including slot assignment; and

(c) use of routings by general air traffic, including:

 the creation of a single publication for route and traffic orientation,

 options for diversion of general air traffic from congested areas, and

 priority rules regarding access to airspace for general air traffic, particularly during periods of congestion and crisis.

9.  When developing and adopting the implementing rules the Commission shall, as appropriate and without prejudice to safety, take into account consistency between flight plans and airport slots and the necessary coordination with adjacent regions.

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CHAPTER III

FLEXIBLE USE OF AIRSPACE IN THE SINGLE EUROPEAN SKY

Article 7

Flexible use of airspace

1.  Taking into account the organisation of military aspects under their responsibility, Member States shall ensure the uniform application within the single European ky of the concept of the flexible use of airspace as described by the ICAO and as developed by Eurocontrol, in order to facilitate airspace management and air traffic management in the context of the common transport policy.

2.  Member States shall report annually to the Commission on the application, in the context of the common transport policy, of the concept of the flexible use of airspace in respect of the airspace under their responsibility.

3.  Where, in particular following the reports submitted by Member States, it becomes necessary to reinforce and harmonise the application of the concept of the flexible use of airspace within the single European sky, implementing rules within the context of the common transport policy shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure under Article 8 of the framework Regulation.

Article 8

Temporary suspension

1.  In cases where the application of Article 7 gives rise to significant operational difficulties, Member States may temporarily suspend such application on condition that they inform without delay the Commission and the other Member States thereof.

2.  Following the introduction of a temporary suspension, adjustments to the rules adopted under Article 7(3) may be worked out for the airspace under the responsibility of the Member State(s) concerned, in accordance with the procedure under Article 8 of the framework Regulation.

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CHAPTER IV

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 10

Review

In the context of the periodical review referred to in Article 12(2) of the framework Regulation, the Commission shall finalise a prospective study on the conditions for future application of the concepts referred to in Articles 3, 5 and 6 to lower airspace.

On the basis of the study's conclusions and in the light of the progress achieved, the Commission shall submit at the latest by 31 December 2006 a report to the European Parliament and to the Council accompanied, if appropriate, by a proposal to extend the application of these concepts to lower airspace, or to determine any other steps. In the event of such an extension being envisaged, the relevant decisions should preferably be taken before 31 December 2009.

Article 11

Entry into force

This Regulation shall enter into force on the 20th day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.




COMMISSION STATEMENT

On the basis of a report on experience in implementing Article 5, the Commission will, if necessary, make proposals for amendment of the procedure provided for in Article 5(6) within a period of five years.



( 1 ) OJ C 103 E, 30.4.2002, p. 35.

( 2 ) OJ C 241, 7.10.2002, p. 24.

( 3 ) OJ C 278, 14.11.2002, p. 13.

( 4 ) Opinion of the European Parliament of 3 September 2002 (OJ C 272 E, 13.11.2003, p. 316), Council Common Position of 18 March 2003 (OJ C 129 E, 3.6.2003, p. 11) and position of the European Parliament of 3 July 2003 (not yet published in the Official Journal). Legislative resolution of the European Parliament of 29 January 2004 and Decision of the Council of 2 February 2004.

( 5 ) See page 1 of this Official Journal.

( 6 ) See page 10 of this Official Journal.