EU aims at greater efficiency in monitoring airspace

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 29.8.2013 12.55
Press release

The European Commission is proposing a decree on the implementation of the Single European Sky. The aim is to improve the overall efficiency of the organisation and management of European airspace. The Single European Sky has already been developed through two legislative packages.

The decree that is now being proposed is aimed at updating the sector that offers air navigation services, and at increasing the capacity of the air traffic control system. This would make it possible to achieve more direct air routes, shorter flight times, more precise flight schedules, and fewer emissions from air transport. The proposals primarily apply to civil aviation.

One of the key elements of a common European airspace is the establishment of Functional Airspace Blocks. Finland is in the Northern European block, along with Estonia, Latvia, and Norway. Europe currently has a total of nine blocks. The proposal calls for flexibility in cooperation among the different sectors to improve performance.

Flight safety services include the core services of air traffic control (air traffic services), communications, navigation and supervisory services, as well as aviation information services. In Finland's Flight Information Region, the state-owned Finavia has been named as provider of these services, with the exception of the aerodromes of Seinäjoki, Mikkeli, and Sodankylä. The proposed decree does not require any change in the naming of air traffic services.

Flight safety services also include the weather service for civil aviation, which is provided in the Finnish region by the Finnish Meteorological Institute. In the future, weather services for civil aviation should be opened up to competition. At the moment, the Finnish Meteorological Institute also provides weather services for military aviation.

Civil and military aviation in Finland operate within the framework of a so-called integrated air navigation system, which means that they use shared air traffic control structures, combined military and civilian airports, information systems, and personnel.

The role of the administrator of the air traffic network would also be strengthened, as this would help maximise the efficiency of the network. The Commission has named the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation Eurocontrol as the network's administrative body.

The Government considers the goal of the Single European Sky and the reform of the air traffic control system to be generally worthy of support. Benefits of aviation safety, environmental impact, and the integration of air traffic are considered important.

The Government emphasises the importance of close cooperation among the players in civil and military aviation, and feels that it is important to preserve Finland's integrated air safety system in the future as well. The Government feels that it is important that the organisation that is chosen for providing weather services should meet the national requirements of security and national defence.

The Government gave Parliament a report on on the proposal for a decree by the European Parliament and the European Council on the implementation of the Single European Sky on 29 August. Processing the proposal will begin in the Council's aviation working group and in the European Parliament in September 2013.

Further information
Government Counsellor Maija Ahokas tel. +358 295 342390