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Aviation: Progress reports show key targets for European air traffic management

Progress reports published recently on the Single European Sky – far-reaching proposals to put in place a pan-European air traffic management system by 2030 – "set alarm bells ringing." "There is a genuine risk that we will lag behind and find ourselves unable to satisfy the rising demands of air travel, which is set to nearly double by 2030", said European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport. "2012 is a make or break year for the Single European Sky and there is a lot at stake. Despite efforts that have been made, the Commission's "traffic light" assessment shows a large majority of Member States in the orange or red zones and at risk of not meeting critical targets for 2012" (see "traffic light" tables attached).

2012 is a critical year for the Single European Sky – there are four key deliverables:

  • the performance scheme, setting key air traffic management (ATM) targets (to start early in 2012);

  • the nine "functional airspace blocks" (to be operational by end-2012);

  • the ATM network manager (already designated as Eurocontrol);

  • the launch of the deployment phase of SESAR, the technological arm of the Single European Sky (from 2014), moving from the R&D phase to the rollout of new equipment and technology.

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