Filter By:

RP3 discussions with PRB in light of COVID-19

In light of the drastic downturn in flights as a result of COVID-19 and slow recovery expected over the next few years, industry associations are working with the Commission’s Performance Review Body (PRB) in order to address Reference Period 3 (2020–2024) performance plans and charging/incentive schemes.

The Performance and Charging Scheme regulation is the regulatory instrument through which the Commission drives ATM performance in co-operation with the member states in the Single Sky Committee.

The third reference period (RP3) runs for a five-year period from 2020-2024. The performance targets were adopted in May 2019, initial plans from states submitted to the Commission in October 2019 and the Commission’s Performance review Body (PRB) reviewing the plans, just as the COVID-19 crisis took hold in Europe.

The downturn in traffic, combined with a long-term demand forecast that is currently unknown means the RP3 targets are in need of urgent amendment. A revision to the regulation is required given that significant shortfalls (up to €3.5bn in ANSP revenue) are expected in 2020. Plans also contain incentive mechanisms, which include the sharing of some financial risks between air navigation service providers and airspace users. Whilst traffic risk sharing has long been an ‘accepted’ principle in respect of the key performance area of cost efficiency, in the context of COVID-19, when the fault is not that of the airlines, it is clearly not fit for purpose and unacceptable to airlines.

ERA, along with other industry associations, is engaging with the PRB to understand the Commission’s current thinking and try to influence a positive outcome for users. There is an acceptance that the traffic risk-sharing mechanism was not created for such a crisis, and ERA believes it will be addressed. However, the timeframe for doing this is incredibly tight.

We expect to hear more on this subject in the coming weeks, with stakeholder meetings being scheduled regularly and will update members in due course.