MEPs said updating European single skies legislation should help the aviation sector become more efficient by ensuring flights have shorter routes, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Sky European Sky initiative was launched in 1999, at a time when the number of flights has increased dramatically and delays have increased, highlighting the need for better coordination.

MEPs want to reform rules to reduce fragmentation in EU airspace and improve air traffic management. This would increase safety and efficiency, reduce costs and be good for the environment.

Currently, planes may not go directly to the landing site because airlines, for example, want to avoid flying over countries with high fees or military zones. This could mean longer trips and more emissions. Fragmentation may also cause delays due to suboptimal formatting.

MEPs say airspace management principles need to be further developed and adapted to changing markets, digital transformation and the European Green Deal. They are pushing for new legislation that would help achieve a reduction of up to 10% in greenhouse gas emissions by avoiding longer roads and promoting clean technologies.

They also want to increase the competitiveness of European airspace and through competitive bidding to support the selection of providers of air traffic and other air navigation services such as communications and meteorological services.

Context

The current rules for Single European Sky date back to 2009. The European Commission proposed an amendment in 2013, which Parliament adopted in 2014. After no agreement was reached in the Council, in 2020 the European Commission proposed an update in line with the European Green Agreement.

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On June 17, 2021, the Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee updated the file negotiating position on the reform of a united Europe and adopted a position on Extension of the mandate of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency o Acting as a verification authority. After the latest position was announced at the July plenary session, MEPs are ready to negotiate with the Council.