Considering the publication of the revised legislative SES package, known as SES 2+, on 22nd of September 2020, the upcoming Committee of Transport and Tourism first reading at the European Parliament, and in anticipation of the Council of Transport Ministers on Tuesday 8th of December 2020, IFATCA submits the following:

The impact of the COVID -19 sanitary crisis on society at large, and aviation in particular, is of an unprecedented dimension. Traffic recovery will depend on the medical progress and it might be a dire and long way to achieve pre-COVID traffic numbers. It is therefore astonishing to note that the proposed legislative package is simply rehashing old recipes, which have in the past completely failed to provide the needed impetus to evolve towards a Single European Sky.

In the view of the professional air traffic controllers / sector, the proposal of the European Commission will create additional burden on the current system and if traffic figures rise again, it will push the sector further down the road of fragmentation and a slowed down reform process. In a situation like the current one, with an operational coherence and efficiency as prime goal, a legislative package using the strength of the current system and provide legislative support to emerge from this latest crisis in a better shape would have provided the needed support to create a competitive and modern European Air Traffic Management infrastructure. Europe deserves better to ensure the stability and resilience of its air transport industry.

IFATCA has published the “Single European Sky III – Mission possible” document (2019, pre-COVID crisis), where the Federation provides recommendations to achieve a long term, more efficient, user and passenger friendly Single European Sky.

As the 2020 crisis forces upon the industry a unique pause to establish a solid foundation for aviation, the initial “Single European Sky III – Mission possible” document shall be complimented with a new financing mechanism and an institutional re-organisation.

Europe can only maintain its position as a global actor if it can rely on a robust aviation infrastructure. IFATCA’s vision is designed to meet the following critical objectives:

IFATCA proposes the following eight recommendations to address the root causes of the SES delay:

IFATCA remains committed to and has been supportive of the Single European Sky since its inception. We strongly believe that the SES is possible. However, the onus is on all the stakeholders to collaborate, leave vested interests aside and find a way forward with a view of what will be gained for all, which avoids the mistakes of the past and addresses the current problems of the ATM system. Only then will the SES become a reality.

IFATCA and its professional representatives are always standing by to assist in developing such necessary changes and to be a driving force to defend the implementation of sound solutions: a performant European ATM system for the benefit of all stakeholders, including all ATM professionals.

IFATCA remains available to make the Single European Sky a coherent, logical and competitive mission possible.

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