European Union: Single European Sky

As is noted in international agreements, it is crucial to make clear the meanings and definitions of aviation terms. So that the subject of this newsletter is clear, it is of the essence to properly explain the term 'sky.'

The term 'sky' that corresponds to "Luftraum," in German, and "Espace aérien," in French, is defined as the area lying above the earth's surface, which is layered with air stratum. Although the term, 'airspace' is a much more accurate definition to describe the same area using a three-dimensional platform, in Turkish aviation practice, the term, 'sky' is preferred, rather than, 'airspace' to describe that specific area.

The Chicago Convention ("Convention"), which was signed on the final day of the International Civil Aviation Conference held between November 1st and December 7th, 1944, in Chicago, is generally deemed as the Chicago Regime in more recent times, in civil aviation practice, due to its constitutional scope and framework. Within the context of the Chicago Convention, the territory of a state means the sovereignty and empery of that state in its specific territory, including territorial waters and mandated lands.

The Convention disposes the liberty of the sky on the areas outside of the sovereignty of any state –as is same for the open seas- within the framework of the full sovereignty of the states as to their sky area. As the liberty regime is in force over international skies, all aircraft, whether commercial or state, could fly without constraint over this area. Despite the fact that there is no explicit provision concerning this point, Article 2 of the Chicago Convention, a contrario, leads to this conclusion.

In light of the foregoing explanations, the Single European Sky, which is the subject of this newsletter, is much more easily understood. With an annual capacity of 800 million passengers, the European Sky has major economic potential. The European Union ("EU") has been working to realize the dream of a Single European Sky in order to take advantage of that potential.

The European aviation industry is a massive industry that encapsulates more than 400 airports, 60 air traffic control providers and 150 airlines, and, in addition, it provides employment opportunities for millions of people. The European Union would like to take advantage of this air traffic that has major potential in terms of passenger capacity in a more streamlined and efficient manner. With that purpose, in 2009, the EU took over the management and responsibilities that had been previously held by member states. Since then, the EU has worked toward its goal of establishing a Single European Sky through a number of projects, aiming to reform air traffic management across the European continent. These have included the planning of flights, not in terms of airports, but the routes taken by airplanes, and also air traffic operations, being carried out within the scope of plans that take into account the best in safety, economic viability, and environmental sensitivity. In brief, this project, other than uniting the European sky, aims to reduce the delays in flights, increase safety measures, reduce the damage caused by airplanes to the lowest level, and reduce costs with respect to aviation services.

The constitution of a single European sky began, in a very limited manner, after the 1990s. There are two substantial reasons behind laying of the foundation of this project so late. Firstly, the unwillingness of the state members to delegate their authority and, secondly, confronting and differentiating benefits. The first pan-Europe comprehensive regulations concerning the aviation industry came into being with three directives published in 1992, with the signing of the Maastricht Treaty. However, those regulations did not address the increasing number of problems arising in the aviation industry. Upon the Maastricht Treaty entering into force, new decisions could not be made in the EU regarding the aviation industry. Subsequently, one of the most important developments was a communiqué published on December 1st, 1999, by the EU Commission that addressed the European Council and the European Parliament. In this Communiqué, it was recommended that a Single European Sky be established. This recommendation stipulated that the system would have an efficient mechanism to prevent delays, and also that newly developed technologies would be implemented across the whole of Europe in the aviation industry. It was within this context that the Single European Sky ATM Research ("SESAR") project, which is composed of three phases, was established.

Within the context of the first phase, as a first step, between 2004 and 2008, a "Definition Phase" was set into motion. In this phase, the main goal was to establish new generation air traffic management systems, and on December 31st, 2004, the EU Commission promulgated Regulation No. 549/2004 ("Regulation"). The scope of the Regulation included the provision of air navigation systems, the organization and use of the sky, and changes in EU countries' management of air traffic. The Regulation also sought to improve the aviation industry and reinforce existing security standards in the EU. Within this framework, new structures were introduced, such as the "National Supervisory Authorities," the "Single Sky Committee," and the "Industry Consultation Body."

The second phase, which can be also deemed as the "Development Phase," lasted from 2008 to 2013. The first striking development in this period was Regulation No. 1008/2008, which was published by the Commission in 2008, and instituted the legal infrastructure for the European aviation industry. Regulation No. 1008 laid out the provisions for issues such as the issuance of licenses required for those who intend to be involved in air transport in the EU, as well as the validity and cancellation of those licenses. In addition, the said regulation put into effect a number of provisions concerning the determination of prices for air transportation services. This phase was managed by the SESAR Joint Undertaking with an enormous budget of 2.1 billion Euros.

Next, and finally, came the "Deployment Phase," which is ongoing. In the project plan for this period, which is projected to last from 2014 to 2020, the goal is to create new infrastructure for air traffic management, and to bring into being infrastructural operations. In this phase, the European Aviation Safety Agency ("EASA") will oversee the SESAR project.

Particularly, in the past year, the striking of air traffic controllers in several European countries caused the cancellation of thousands of flights, and approximately one million minutes of delay. Therefore, the International Air Transport Association ("IATA") demanded of the governments of the EU member states to concentrate on the Single European Sky project for the delay-free continuity of air traffic.

Despite that all of the restrictions among the national borders have been removed on road transportation, along with the EU member states, national borders on the air transport all across the EU remain. The EU failed to produce effective solutions to the problems that are growing with each passing day, and now must deal with considerable congestion and delays. In comparison with other businesses, the aviation sector, which is subject to much more regulation than other industries, in the early 1990s, the Single European Sky initiative, was launched with the intention of resolving industrial problems. The legal infrastructure of the European aviation industry is reorganized by the EU, through Regulation No. 1008, in 2008. Turkey's accession process, which was initiated in 2005, is determined with progression reports that are released by the EU Harmonization Commission ("Commission") for Turkey. The Commission announced that there is still room for improvement, while some progress has taken place on the way to harmonize EU air traffic aspects. However, in 2006, the General Directorate of State Airports Authority launched System Modernization of ATM Resources in Turkey ("SMART"), which is one of the largest and postmodern projects, not only in Europe, but also all around the world. Moreover, it is expected to take significant steps in this respect concerning the legislative regulations within a short period of time.

As a result, in the first part of the early 2000s, the EU failed to meet expectations in solving the problems of the aviation industry. On the other hand, Turkey is at the ready for the integration to the Single European Sky by all means and, except for minor legal regulations, Turkey is ahead of the majority of the EU member states.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.