Key regulation adopted by the Commission for the Single European Sky (SES II)

The Commission has approved the keystone of the SES II, the performance implementing regulation, and the designation of a dedicated body to supervise compliance with this rule, sixteen months before the deadline of December 2011 set by the legislator.

What is SES II?

The original Single European Sky (SES I) package came into force in 2004. At the time, the greatest problem in air traffic management was congestion in the air and subsequent delays hence it also became the main focus of SES I, together with safety. Since then, whilst safety and capacity are still major issues, the picture has become more varied with a greater emphasis on environment and more recently due to the fuel price crisis, on cost efficiency. Additionally, the regulatory approach has been changed for a less prescriptive approach (”better regulation”). The updated SES II package is tackling all these challenges.

Facts and figures on the European Sky


* European Aviation market : a €140 billion business in 2006
* +/- 150 airlines
* 730 million passengers in 2006
* 1,000 airports
* 25,000 aircraft on average per day
* 1,000 air traffic control sectors
* 12 traffic bottlenecks account for 80% of delays
* Air traffic control/management costs €8 billions for 9 millions flights per year
* Airlines incurred €9 billions losses in 2009 because of the crisis
* The volcanic ash cloud crisis costed airlines some €1.26 billion in a week
* In 2007, delays generated an additional €1.3 billion of costs to airlines.
* Flight inefficiencies generate substantial additional fuel burn – estimated at more than €1 billion per year - and generate some additional 16 million tonnes of CO2 per year.


* Reduce the cost of flying by 50%
* Decrease the environmental impact of flights by 10%
* Allow continuous increase of capacity while reducing delays
* Further enhance high level of safety De-fragment European airspace by creating nine Functional airspace blocks.
* Improve performance of air navigation services with regard to safety, environment, cost-efficiency and capacity
* Establish a single authority to manage the European network, in order to allow optimum use of airspace and allocate scarce resources.

Next step

The next important step, to be achieved by the end of 2010, shall be the designation of a single manager for the whole European network to ensure the optimum use of the airspace and coordinate the allocation of scarce resources (such as frequencies and codes).

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