A group of low cost airlines have come together to demand that the European Union (EU) gets the ball rolling on harmonising European air traffic management and implementing the long-awaited Single European Sky initiatives.
The European Low Fares Airline Association called on the EU to start converging national aviation authorities into one efficient body – and deliver passengers and the environment considerable gains.
A central recommendation urged the creation by 2010 of a single European aviation authority to handle both traffic management and safety issues, using the existing national authority headquarters as regional bases.
Ryanair chief executive and also founding member of the European Low Fares Airline Association, Michael O’Leary , said: “The European Union’s Single European Sky project … has been gathering dust for over ten years because those responsible for the gross inefficiency of the system … are dragging their heels. Removing this inefficiency would equate to eliminating the emissions of 70 short-haul aircraft operating non-stop for a year and would deliver massive benefits to consumers and to the environment.”
The UK’s National Air Traffic Services recently launched a parallel consultation on air traffic management over the south-east of England, announcing plans to pool the opinions of 3,000 MPs, local politicians, airport committee members and environmental stakeholders in a bid to improve congested air traffic zones.