The volcanic ash crisis that paralyzed European air transport for nearly a week made it crystal clear that the Single European Sky is a critical missing link in Europe’s infrastructure, the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Director General and CEO Giovanni Bisignani said.
Bisignani urged support for Spain’s recent call to fast-track implementation of the Single European Sky. The issue is set to be discussed at an extraordinary meeting of Europe’s Transport Council on May 4.
“We have been discussing the Single European Sky for decades. It was a priority of the European Commission as far back as the early 1990s when I was Chairman of the Association of European Airlines. The technical plans are in place. The May 4 meeting must back up the technical preparations with an implementation time line for a fully integrated Single European Sky and the political will to achieve it,” Bisignani said.
“The Single European Sky is much broader than a crisis management mechanism. It will improve Europe’s competitiveness and environmental performance. The inefficiency of the current system is a EUR 5 billion burden on Europe’s economy and wastes 16 million tones of CO2 in delays and indirect routings,” Bisignani said.