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Transport: EU updates aviation security rules to simplify and improve procedures

New measures to streamline and simplify the EU framework for aviation security, first put in place in 2002 after the September 11 attacks, came into force today. The revision is about better regulation – simplifying and improving procedures to make it easier for industry on a daily basis to implement safety controls, without any reduction in security. For passengers, the package opens the door for the EU to negotiate "one-stop shop" security agreements with third countries – allowing for the possibility to reduce re-screening for transfer passengers. Most importantly, it sets a clear deadline for the lifting of the current restrictions on the carriage of liquids in cabin baggage – new screening equipment for liquids must be used in all airports across Europe by April 2013. Overall, the package aims to improve the passenger experience, shorten transfer times at airports and reduce costs.  

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Volcanic ash cloud crisis: Commission outlines response to tackle the impact on air transport 

European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport,  presented to the College a preliminary assessment of the economic consequences for the air transport industry of the volcanic ash crisis. In addition the Vice President presented a range of possible short-term actions and structural measures to help the air transport industry overcome this unprecedented period. Faced with this crisis, the first priority of the Commission was to intervene to facilitate the opening of airspace under strict safety conditions so that millions of stranded passengers could get home and to ensure that EU passenger rights are fully respected. Now that the situation is normalising, the focus is on a package of short-term and structural measures for the air transport industry, which are proposed in association with Vice-President Almunia (competition and state aid) and Commissioner Rehn (economic and monetary affairs).

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Public consultation on the EU e-Maritime initiative  

The EU e-Maritime initiative is aimed at fostering the use of advanced information technologies for working and doing business in the maritime transport sector. However, the ultimate goal of the EU e-Maritime initiative is to make maritime transport more efficient, safer and environmentally friendlier by improved information use, knowledge creation, facilitation of business collaborations and supports to cope with externalities. The EU e-Maritime initiative aims also to improve the life at sea by providing internet-based services for mariners, thus raising the attractiveness of the seafaring professions. A public consultation on the EU e‑Maritime initiative is now open and will end on Sunday 27 June 2010. The aim of the consultation is to gather stakeholders' opinions on the e-Maritime initiative in order to assess the possible actions that could help meet the above-mentioned e‑Maritime objectives

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Background

Use of Intelligent Transport Systems in the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T)

The potential of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) applications has encouraged the European Commission (EC) to refer to them in its 2006 mid-term review of the Transport White Paper. Innovation for more efficiency and sustainability is a main objective and the use of ITS a means to that end.

While we use advanced road traffic management systems in many places throughout Europe, regional and national ITS services still form a fragmented patchwork. The EC has a vision to put to work intelligent transport systems and services throughout Europe.

To support Europe-wide services, the EU supports ITS in road transport by co-funding deployment projects. The grant programme for the Trans-European Network for Transport (TEN-T) aims to establish interconnections, interoperability and continuity of services especially on long-distance routes and across borders. Its guidelines cover the infrastructure for traffic management, traveller information, emergency systems and electronic fee collection.

 The following sections give an overview how the programme has evolved. There has been a continuous development from support of individual projects (before 2001) towards more cross border deployment (2001-2006) and now real Europe-wide services (2007-2013).

2007-2013

The TEN-T work programme 2007-2013 outlines the following priorities for road ITS:

  • Europe-wide traffic and travel information service
  • Europe-wide traffic management service
  • Europe-wide freight & logistics

Projects shall facilitate co-modality by promoting the concept of the connected traveller and connected intelligent technologies and have an emphasis on cross border cooperation and continuity of service. The EU also aims to create a single market for ITS services. This includes the development of technical standards to ensure interoperability and a stable basis for investment decisions, as well as the necessary legal and organisational framework for the deployment of ITS services (see ITS Action Plan).

Within the framework of the TEN-T programme for the period 2007-2013 an indicative amount of 300 million € has been programmed for ITS road projects (of about 8 billion € for TEN-T in total). This amount will be spread over three calls. One has been in 2007, which selected the EasyWay project (see below). Two more are planned respectively in 2009 (100 million €) and 2011 (100 million €). The 2009 Call has been launched on 31 March 2009 and is closing on 15 May 2009. All information and documents about the 2009 TEN-T Calls for Proposals are available from the TEN-T Executive Agency.

Since 2007 the new TEN-T Executive Agency is managing the technical and financial implementation of the TEN-T programme, including road ITS. This includes the organisation of calls and evaluation.

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