Single European Sky: Commission paves the way for more ambitious performance targets
The European Commission adopted today revised implementing Regulations on performance and charging, setting the framework for the upcoming negotiations on targets for the second reference period (2015 to 2019) of the SES Performance Scheme.
The Scheme sets the framework for establishing binding targets on Member States to deliver better air navigation services, leading to cheaper flights, less delays, and the saving of unnecessary costs for airlines and passengers. In addition, the environmental impact of air traffic will be reduced because of more efficient and shorter flight paths.
European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, said: "The Commission adopted today these revised Regulations, based on the agreement reached with Member States in the Single Sky Committee. But we can and we must do better. Now that the framework is set, we will focus our efforts on the adoption, by the end of this year, of realistic and ambitious targets to enable real progress during the second reference period, in particular in terms of cost reduction"
The revised Regulations now foresee binding performance targets in all four key performance areas (Safety, Environment, Capacity and Cost-Efficiency) resulting in a 'gate-to-gate' approach covering the entire chain of air navigation services, including terminal services, for the first time during the next reference period. The precise targets will be established under a subsequent Commission Decision. The revised framework regulation adopted today also strengthen the role of the Commission in scrutinising the costs of service providers charged to airlines and ultimately passengers.
Inefficiencies caused by Europe's fragmented airspace bring extra costs of close to €5 billion each year. It adds 42 kilometres to the distance of an average flight, forcing aircraft to burn more fuel, generate more emissions, pay more in costly user-charges and suffer greater delays. The United States controls the same amount of airspace, with more traffic, at almost half the cost.
The performance scheme requires Member States to adopt national or FAB performance plans for fixed reference periods. The first reference period runs for three years from 2012 to 2014; subsequent reference periods will run for five years.
Achieving performance targets to increase European airspace capacity and cut costs go to the heart of the Single European Sky. They are vital for its entire success, and the success of the performance scheme will depend on the level of ambition of EU-wide targets for the second reference period which will run from 2015 until 2019.
The next step will be a public consultation on ranges for performance targets. This consultation will be launched soon on the Commission web-site and the results will feed into the proposal for a Commission Decision on performance targets for the second reference period (2015 to 2019) to be adopted by the end of 2013.
Helen Kearns (+32 2 298 76 38)
Dale Kidd (+32 2 295 74 61)
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