The approval on 29 July 2010 of the performance Regulation (EU) No 691/2010 and of the Commission Decision [453 KB] on the designation of the Performance Review Body is a key step towards creating a Single European Sky and improving the performance of air navigation services by reducing the cost of flights, while improving the capacity and better preserving the environment, all having regard to the overriding safety objectives.
The implementation as from 1 January 2012 of the performance scheme aims at setting and implementing binding targets for EU Member States in the key performance areas of safety, environment, airspace capacity and cost efficiency through the adoption of European-Union wide performance targets and approval of consistent National or Functional Airspace Blocks (FAB) performance plans. The scheme will contain incentive mechanisms, including the limited sharing of some financial risks between air navigation service providers and airspace users and will address human factors through a specialised platform for consultation of employers and employees in the Air Traffic Management domain. As a consequence, air travellers should benefit from a punctual, greener and more cost-efficient mode of transport with a maintained or even enhanced level of safety. The first reference period will concretely start on 1 January 2012 for a period of three years, to be followed by five years reference periods in the future. The scheme, binding for the EU member States, can extend to third States, thus providing benefits to the pan-European dimension of the network.
Eurocontrol has been designated on 29 July 2010 as the Performance Review Body in charge of assisting the European Commission in setting up and managing the performance scheme for air navigation services. By acting as the Performance Review Body through its own performance review commission, Eurocontrol will provide essential expertise and experience in setting up the appropriate mechanism.
The Performance Review Body will be chaired until the end of the first reference period by Mr Peter Griffiths (UK), nominated by the Commission on 11 August 2010. Mr Peter Griffiths' experience in the public and private aviation sector, as a pilot, airline CEO, regional vice-president for the International Air Transport Association (IATA) , director general of civil aviation and UK representative in international forums addressing economic regulation, grants him the authority to create the Performance Review Body and launch the European performance scheme in the short timeframe set by the Council of Ministers (end of 2010).
Single European Sky Performance Scheme 2012-2014
The European Commission has written to Member States concerning the performance plans [4 MB] (updated on 21 December 2012) to improve air traffic management under the period 2012-2014 of the Single European Sky Performance Scheme.
The scheme is expected to save billions of Euros to the benefit of airspace users and passengers in these three years. On 19 July 2012 and 17 December 2012, the European Commission announced that the plans are accepted as broadly in line with legally established European Union-wide targets. However the European Commission also adopted recommendations to Member States for further improvements.
It has been estimated that during the three-year period 2012-2014, airspace users will pay around EUR 19 billion on air navigation charges. Depending on the type of airline, these charges represent between 6 and 10% of the airline's operating costs. These are significant costs that are ultimately borne by passengers.
The Performance Scheme of the Single European Sky aims at setting and implementing binding targets for 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 due to more efficient and shorter flight paths.