The European Commission and the Hungarian Presidency organised a conference on the 3 and 4 March in Budapest to advance the Single European Sky initiative. The European Commission created this initiative in response to the increasing air traffic flows, which are expected to double by 2020. The aim of the Single European Sky is to organise European airspace into 9 functional blocks according to traffic flows rather than to national borders. The initiative should improve coordination between airspace navigation providers and thus improve safety, increase the capacity of our skies and reduce delays, the cost of flying and the impact on the environment.
Three steps were announced at the conference:
- Short-term actions were proposed, for example, measures to enhance air traffic controllers’ mobility.
- Cooperation agreements were announced to consolidate the Eurocontrol reform and its role as network manager for the European Union.
- The Memorandum of Cooperation was signed by the European Union and the United States in the area of research and development.
The Commissioner for Transport, Siim Kallas, added that the, “The construction of a true single sky has entered a crucial phase,” as a result of the long-term sustainable framework for air traffic management.
This project will take time to make a difference…but it will bring benefits to all travellers within the European Union.