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Parliamentary questions
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17 July 2018
Question for written answer E-003985-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Deirdre Clune (PPE)

 Subject:  The current fragmentation of the European airspace and disruptions to the air transport system
 Answer in writing 

Eurocontrol has stated in a recent report that flights in its region are due to increase by 53% by 2040 but airport capacity is set to rise by only 16%. It predicts that by 2040, around 470 000 passengers per day will be delayed by up to two hours, compared to 50 000 today. Delays are set to increase by 53% this year alone.

Air traffic controllers’ strikes in France have also become more frequent. 24 strike days so far in 2018 have caused 5 000 flight cancellations and thousands of delays, affecting millions of travellers and having an estimated economic impact of EUR 13.4 billion. I welcomed the Commission’s list of good practices to enhance airspace efficiency in its summer 2017 package, but I believe more action needs to be taken urgently.

Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 551/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2004 on the organisation and use of the airspace in the single European sky(1) foresees the establishment of a single European Upper Flight Information Region (EUIR), without prejudice to Member States’ sovereignty. This would make it possible to create a Trans-European Motorway of the Sky in order to mitigate the current fragmentation of the European airspace and disruptions to the air transport system.

Can the Commission indicate if it has made any progress in making this a reality?

(1)OJ L 96, 31.3.2004, p. 20.

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