The European Commission has published a new communication, Aviation: an Open and Connected Europe, in an effort to enhance airspace efficiency and connectivity.
Well received by the industry, A4E praises the commission for encouraging member states and stakeholders, including social partners, to take action to improve service continuity in air traffic management.
“The latest announcements by the European Commission are an important step towards protecting European passengers and the single market in case of ATC strikes.
“At the same time, the commission needs to ensure that member states implement its recommendations.
“Limiting the impact of air traffic management strikes on travellers and business, without questioning controllers’ fundamental right to strike, is a key objective of A4E.
“We now need courageous policy-makers in Europe to help implement these best practices,” said Thomas Reynaert, managing director, A4E.
The commission notes in its analysis that air traffic control strikes affect the functioning of the EU single market.
They pose a most complex challenge to air traffic management as they result in significant flight cancellations and serious delays, leaving passengers stranded at airports and bringing tourism to a standstill.
“We need to keep our feet on the ground because there is still a long way to go to have these proposals implemented.
“There are some important proposals by the commission such as unions providing early notification of strikes; staff members to provide individual notification of their participation to industrial action and the protection of overflights of member states affected by strikes ensuring 100 per cent continuity of service.
“Member states also need to swiftly adopt the Single European Sky proposals to enable European passengers to fully benefit from seamless air travel across Europe,” concluded Reynaert.