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2013.09.17 11:00

EU Transport Ministers approve the enlargement of Single European Sky

DELFI|The Lithuania Tribune2013.09.17 11:00

Today, the EU Transport Ministers expressed their support for the European Commission’s initiative aiming at developing the Single European Sky and ensuring safe and efficient air traffic management system, writes www.eu2013.lt. 

Today, the EU Transport Ministers expressed their support for the European Commission’s initiative aiming at developing the Single European Sky and ensuring safe and efficient air traffic management system, writes www.eu2013.lt.

This view was expressed in the Informal Meeting of the EU Transport Ministers Single European Sky on 16 September, 2013.

“One of the main drivers of European economical growth is the implementation of the common air transport space. In order to ensure economic growth and effective functioning of single market, the European air navigational service system should be as strong as possible, as well as act consistently. This could create all necessary preconditions for easier transportation of goods, people and services,” said the Minister of Transport and Communications Rimvydas Sinkevičius.

The participants of the high-level thematic debate discussed the progress in strengthening the European single air transport market and further action plans. In addition, the EU Transport Ministers, air carriers and civil aviation navigation service providers exchanged their views on the tangible results that SES initiative has already produced and stressed the need to accelerate the modernisation of EU air traffic management.

The ministers agreed to pursue the major goals of the SES initiative: improve air safety, increase the capacity of air space, and reduce the cost of travelling, as well as negative environmental effect of aviation emissions. Also the air carriers – major users of the SES –expressed their support for further development of initiative.

According to the Minister of Transport and Communications Rimvydas Sinkevičius, the creation and development of the European single air transport market should take into account the interests of different EU countries, as well as airlines companies and EU citizens.

“It is clear that the further development of SES is a project that involves all of us,” the Minister stressed.

In 2004, the first strategic package of SES formed main strategic goals. Further reforms in 2009 supplemented the package and focused on the improvement of existing safety standards, increase of the European air traffic efficiency, achievement of the optimal airspace capacity and the reduction of air traffic delays.

The Lithuanian Presidency of the EU Council intends to focus more on the third package Single European Sky II plus.

The Lithuanian Presidency will seek to improve the European air traffic management system and address the problems of its fragmentation. The European traffic management system involves 28 national administrational institutions with different systems and rules that overlook more that 100 air navigation service providers.

In this regard, Europe is still behind US which covers the airspace of similar size. Experts say that the fragmentation or airspace brings circa five billion euro damage to Europe. Therefore, the solution to this problem would increase the competitiveness of European air transport system.

The civilian aviation sector makes great impact on the European economy. This sector employs about 7.8 million workers and contributes 475 billion euro to the European GDP.