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Single European Sky (SES) & SESAR Projects


Airspace User Letter_RP3 targets.pdf
Joint Industry Letter on SES_22112019.pdf

Latest update 27 November 2019


Please see the download section on the top right hand corner of this page to read the overview of this section and scroll down the page to read the latest updates on ERA's activities and position.



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ERA fully supports the concept of the European air traffic control infrastructure modernisation programme, and works closely with the SESAR Deployment Manager representing Airspace Users on the SDM Consultation Platform and Thematic Sub-Groups however will continue to work with the European Commission, SESAR Joint Undertaking and Eurocontrol both independently, and through the auspices of bodies such as the ICB, AAB and other Airspace User Associations to ensure members interests are represented, and that they remain part of the process.


Latest update 27/11/2019: In relation to the upcoming European Union Transport Council on 2 December, ERA co-signed a joint industry letter calling Europe’s governments to take action and update the Single European Sky legal framework. The letter draws the attention of EU transport ministers to the fact that the European Air Traffic Management system has in the last two years struggled to cope with the demand in the network, with very high delays and mitigation measures requiring flights to take longer routes and therefore generate more CO2 emissions. With the implementation of the technological and operational pieces that are ready for deployment, along with an update of the regulatory framework, 10 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions and other high-level goals of the SES can be achieved. The letter is available for members to download from the top right of this page.

16/09/19: The Performance Review Body (PRB) provides independent advice and expertise to the European Commission to improve the performance of air navigation in Europe in the key areas of safety, capacity, environment and cost efficiency. Following the call launched in March 2019, the Commission appointed three new members of the PRB of the single European sky as of 1 September 2019.

The three new members are:

  • Estelle Malavolti
  • Hans Ollongren
  • Ben Van Houtte

PRB members undertaking a second mandate are:

  • Regula Dettling-Ott
  • Magdalena Jaworska
  • Andrew Knill
  • Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus
  • Rosa Arnaldo Valdes
  • Daniel Weder

The Director-General of Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) asked Regula Dettling-Ott to continue her role as chair of the PRB.

06/08/19: The European Commission adopted performance targets for air navigation services for the period 2020–2024 (Single European Sky Reference Period 3) on 29 May 2019. The targets determine the level of ambition for the entities responsible for air traffic management in Europe.

The adopted Union-wide performance targets are as follows:

  • Safety: Air traffic management in Europe is very safe. The targets set small additional improvements in the safety culture and risk management. They should trigger improvements in identifying hazards, assessing risks and implementing mitigation measures.
  • Environment: The average actual distance flown by aircraft should be shortened by an additional 0.2 percentage points as compared to the target for 2019. This would improve flight efficiency, reducing fuel burn, and thus avoid a large amount of CO2 emissions per year.
  • Capacity: Despite the current problems with delay, the targets for capacity must remain ambitious. In 2018, the average delay per flight was 1.83 minutes. The target is to move towards 0.9 minutes in the next years and as of 2023 the average Air Traffic Flow Management delay per flight shall not exceed 0.5 minutes. Reaching the target would significantly reduce delays for passengers and support the increasing demand for traffic.
  • Cost efficiency: By the end of 2024 the average determined unit cost for air navigation services should be lower than today. The targets set a reduction around 15 per cent as compared to the 2017 actual unit rate. This allows member states and respectively their Air Navigation Service Providers to invest in capacity provision. However, further efficiency gains are still needed and possible due to new technologies and procedures and due to the fact that air navigation service providers will have an increased income due to higher traffic. This would reduce the cost to airspace users, enabling airlines to offer lower fares to passengers.

Member states now have to set local performance targets consistent with the adopted Union-wide targets by 1 October 2019. The Commission will then assess the consistency of the local performance targets with the Union-wide targets, and may accept the local targets or request revisions if they are not consistent.

The full text of the decision can be found here.

10/05/19: The European Commission has reappointed Eurocontrol as Network Manager for Single European Sky air traffic network functions from 2020 until 2029. ERA looks forward to continued co-operation with the Network Manager.

16/04/19: The Single European Sky Wise Persons Group presented their report to EC Commissioner Violeta Bulc on 15 April. The group was established by the European Commission to produce recommendations on the direction European ATM should take in the years ahead and to meet the many challenges. 

The short report contains ten recommendations and can be accessed here.

Eamonn Brennan, Director General, Eurocontrol, stated that “For Eurocontrol, the vision is positive with a significantly enlarged role envisaged for the NM (Network Manager). This marks a change from previous perceptions and reports. The EC will likely develop proposals based on this report for a SES3, which will be considered by the new Commission. It is a very good starting point for us in Eurocontrol and we will have to look at how we are organised and resourced also. This occupied a lot of my time over the past months, as we had many hearings, etc. The report also contains ambitious timelines. The EC together with the Finnish Presidency of the EU Council of Ministers will hold a conference in Brussels on 12 September 2019 to start the ball rolling and get feedback." Brennan continued: “I wish to thank personally all the technical services who supported our work here, the PC President, Raúl, who was an active member and also Volker of ATCEUC and all other group members who contributed to the report. It is a good starting point for Europe going forward.”