Mobility and Transport


Single European Sky 2+

Single European Sky 2+

The second package of Single European Sky entered into force in 2009 and has shown great promise, especially as regards the application of a more hands-off performance oriented model of economic regulation. With the implementation of that approcach, important lessons have been learned and should be included in the regulations to refine the approach. Additionally, the SES II initiative left some overlaps in legislation, so that same provisions were found in several pieces of legislation. To perform these updates, the European Commission is launching an interim update of the SES rules, called Single European Sky 2+ (SES2+) .

The update focuses on seven main areas

  1. Independence and resources of National Supervisory Authorities (NSAs)
    High level of expertise and independence of oversight is central to the safe and efficient management of the ATM system. Audits have shown deficiencies in the oversight of Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs). SES2+ seeks to improve the system by providing the NSAs with more support through EU-level co-operation and pooling of resources. It also requires full organisational and budgetary separation of NSAs from the ANSPs they supervise in order to ensure truly independent oversight, such as is found for example in the oversight of airlines.
  2. Support services
    Traditionally, all ATM services have been budled  into one monopoly provider and designated without use of public procurement rules. SES2+ requires the application of normal procurement rules to ensure a transparent selection of the provider offering the best cost/benefit ratio.
  3. Customer focus
    The ANSPs exist to serve the airspace users and need to be focused on the customer needs. SES2+ brings better consultation and gives the airspace users groups a role in signing off major investment plans.
  4. Performance scheme and the Performance Review Body (PRB)
    The performance scheme needs to be strengthened to avoid dilution of targets and allow proper tailoring at local level. The PRB will also be given more independence.
  5. Functional Airspace Blocks (FABs)
    FABs have so far had relatively inflexible constructions. SES2+ will make them more flexible, industry led, and more focused on performance. As long as the performance targets are met, the Commission will not try to micromanage the FABs, but let the industry devise its own solutions.
  6. Network Manager (NM)
    The network manager provides services mainly to other service providers. In SES2+, its role is clarified, made industry-led, and the door to new centralised services -especially ones coming from SESAR- is opened.
  7. EASA, Eurocontrol and the institutional landscape
    Finally, a decade of overlapping responsibilities between EU level organisations is brought to an end, by dividing work between them so that Eurocontrol will focus on the operational issues (network manager), EASA on technical rule drafting and oversight authority tasks, and the Commission on economic regulation (performance, charging, institutional issues, etc...).

Additionally, some more administrative updates are carried out, in order to align the provisions with those of the Lisbon Treaty. 

Further reading

Single Sky: Commission acts to unblock congestion in Europe's airspace [IP/13/523]

Single Sky: Commission acts to unblock congestion in Europe's airspace [MEMO/13/525]

Citizens' summary

Cost flight efficiency


Facts and figures

Institutional matters

Service provision and oversight

Who does what?

Public Consultation

Executive summary of the Impact Assessment

SES2+ proposal:

Communication: Accelerating the implementation of the Single European Sky

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

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the implementation of the Single European Sky

Draft Impact Assessesment

Executive summary of the Impact Assessesment