Procedure : 2015/2933(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-1148/2015

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 11/11/2015 - 16.2
CRE 11/11/2015 - 16.2
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-1146/2015

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the future Aviation Package (2015/2933(RSP))

Gesine Meissner, Pavel Telička, Dominique Riquet, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells on behalf of the ALDE Group

European Parliament resolution on the future Aviation Package (2015/2933(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 April 2007 on the establishment of a European Common Aviation Area(1),

–  having regard to Directive 2009/12/EC of 11 March 2009 on airport charges,

–  having regard to its resolution of 7 June 2011 on international air agreements under the Treaty of Lisbon(2),

–  having regard to its resolution on the EU’s External Aviation Policy – Addressing future challenges(3),

–  having regard to its position adopted at first reading on 12 March 2014 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the implementation of the Single European Sky (recast)(4),

–  having regard to its position adopted at first reading on 12 March 2014 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 in the field of aerodromes, air traffic management and air navigation services(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 29 October 2015 on allocation by the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15), to be held in Geneva from 2 to 27 November 2015, of the necessary radio spectrum band to support the future development of a satellite-based technology to enable global flight tracking systems(6),

–  having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and in particular Articles 90, 100(2) and 218 thereof,

–  having regard to the Commission’s upcoming legislative ‘Aviation Package’,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas in 2012 the air transport economy in the EU supported 5.5 million jobs and contributed more than 2.6 % of EU GDP;

B.  whereas in 2014 the number of passengers travelling by air in the EU amounted to 849.4 million, an increase of 4.4 % compared with 2013 and of 16.9 % compared with 2009;

C.  whereas more than 20 000 job cuts have been implemented and scheduled by European airlines since 2012;

D.  whereas European airlines are operating in a fast-changing, increasingly competitive environment on both internal and external markets;

E.  whereas the EU and its Member States must improve certain legal and financial regulations, such as those relating to national and local taxes and restricting operating hours, if it is to remove unnecessary burdens in Europe for the European aviation sector;

F.  whereas the Commission intends to deliver an Aviation Package by the end of 2015 which seeks to identify and address the challenges facing the EU aviation sector;

Improving the competitiveness of the aviation industry

1.  Considers that the Aviation Package should provide a much-needed boost for the European aviation industry, improve the competitiveness of the sector, lead to a more level playing field and set out a long-term strategy for Europe’s aviation industry;

2.  Calls on the Commission to take into account and include Parliament’s first readings on the Single European Sky 2+ (SES2+) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) (T7-0220/2014 and T7-0151/2014) when drafting the Aviation Package;

3.  Emphasises that the aeronautics industry is a major contributor to EU growth and jobs and is closely linked to competitiveness in the EU aviation sector (e.g. positive export balance, cleaner technologies for European aircraft, SESAR deployment, Single European Sky (SES), bilateral air safety agreements, maintenance chain), generating a turnover of around EUR 100 billion per year and sustaining some 500 000 direct jobs; asks therefore for proactive policies in order to develop a favourable environment for the aeronautics industry;

4.  Underlines the fact that innovation is a prerequisite for a competitive European aviation industry; recommends, therefore, that the Commission support innovation in the fields of air traffic management (automated air traffic control (ATC), free routing), remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPASs), alternative fuel solutions, aircraft and engine design (greater efficiency, less noise), airport security (touchless solutions, advanced security screening technology, one-stop security) digitalisation, and multimodal solutions (computerised ground handling services); further recommends that it support global environmental solutions, such as a global market-based measure to reduce CO2 emissions from international aviation, and align regional schemes, such as the aviation emissions trading system (ETS) with the goal of merging them into a global scheme, airport greening (green taxiing) and new business models (such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s New Distribution Capability (NDC), self-connection or integrated ticketing);

5.  Deplores the fact that Regulation (EC) No 868/2004 on protection against unfair pricing practices in the air transport sector has proved to be inadequate and ineffective in terms of its scope; asks the Commission to issue as soon as possible an analysis of the causes of its non-implementation and to revise the Regulation in order to safeguard fair competition more effectively, ensure reciprocity and eliminate unfair practices, including subsidies and state aid awarded to airlines from certain third countries that distort the market; stresses that the aim should be to improve the political strategy at European level in order to quickly resolve this conflict, based mainly on the application of a transparent and ‘fair competition’ clause; asks the Commission also to address the concept of ‘effective control’ of airlines;

6.  Deplores the waste of taxpayers’ money when used to support infrastructures that fail to meet expectations; calls on the Commission in this connection to establish a public list of ‘ghost’ and inefficient airports;

7.  Notes that European airports are facing significant competitive pressures – from both airlines and competing airports; urges the Commission therefore to take these developments into consideration in implementing the Airport Charges Directive;

8.  Calls for greater efforts to be made within the Council to approve the slots regulation proposal in order to improve the performance of airports and allow for the smooth functioning of air transport in Europe, in the context of traffic being expected to double by 2030;

9.  Highlights the importance of small and regional airports within the Union for regional connectivity; calls on the Commission, together with the Member States, to present a long-term EU strategic plan to address the challenges and opportunities for regional airports within the EU, as air connectivity should be promoted and become one of the pillars of the EU’s growth and jobs strategy;

International dimension

10.  Calls on the Commission to negotiate and conclude as soon as possible comprehensive aviation agreements with the EU’s major trading partners, such as neighbouring countries, BRIC and ASEAN countries, Mexico, Japan and Turkey, and the Gulf States, in order to provide new opportunities for EU air carriers and to ensure a more level playing field by enhancing financial transparency and safeguarding fair competition;

11.  Notes that the air transport sector is not regulated on a worldwide basis as it is not yet a World Trade Organisation subject; stresses the importance of globally agreed rules within the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), in order to reduce aviation emissions; is strongly concerned by the lack of progress in the ICAO towards the development of an effective global market-based mechanism;

12.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to accelerate the implementation of the Single European Sky through the adoption of the SES2+ package and through the full implementation and operation of Functional Airspace Blocks (FABs), as the existing fragmentation of European airspace is a major burden on European air carriers;

13.  Expects the Aviation Package to address and ensure the full integration of airports into the European transport network; recalls the need for the Aviation Package to be consistent with current and future legislation on passenger rights, and urges the Council to come forward with its position, as both passengers and air carriers long for clarity regarding the rules;

Social agenda in the aviation sector

14.  Underlines the fact that some working conditions in the aviation sector may impact flight safety; recommends that DG MOVE and DG EMPL work together and that the Aviation Package includes social provisions and provides the necessary safeguards, as discussed during the high-level conference ‘A social agenda for transport’ held on 4 June 2015 by the Commission;

15.  Requests the enhancement and harmonisation of the safety chain by attracting and retaining a skilled, highly trained and adaptable workforce;

16.  Recommends pinning down the concept of ‘principal place of business’ so that the operating licence is granted by a state if the volume of air transport therein is substantial and also, in the context of the coordination of social security systems and labour law, alignment of the definition of ‘Home Base’ as per Regulation (EU) No 83/2014 and Regulation (EU) No 465/2012; also recommends shortening the transitional period and clarifying the situation of aircrew that have multiple home bases;

17.  Notes the challenges in implementing the Directive on Temporary Agency Work (2008/104/EC) and recommends that the Commission scrutinise its current application in the sector;

18.  Is aware of the increase in socially problematic business practices such as ‘flags of convenience’ and in the use of atypical forms of employment such as bogus self-employment, pay-to-fly schemes and zero-hours contracts, which may have safety implications; takes the view that social standards need to be upheld in all aviation activities;

Ensuring a high level of safety in European airspace

19.  Calls for the full implementation of the SESAR programme, which requires close cooperation among, and a financial commitment from, the Commission, air navigation service providers, air carriers and airports; calls therefore for a total system approach in all aviation domains covering all phases of the flight starting on the ground, with a stronger role for the EASA within the SES-SESAR environment of a EU-EASA system governing safety, security, environment and performance;

20.  Welcomes the intention to increase the EASA’s responsibilities and therefore expects the amended Basic Regulation ((Regulation (EC) No 216/2008) to ensure the establishment of a comprehensive Safety Management System and to entrust the EASA with the safety aspects of EU security measures and of commercial space transport and remotely piloted aircraft; calls on the Commission to grant the EASA the status of single aviation authority in Europe, in accordance with the wide range of responsibilities to be assigned by the legislator;

21.  Calls on the Commission to strengthen the role of the EASA on the international scene to match that of its major counterparts such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and to ensure its official recognition within the ICAO, in order to establish a single EU voice that will ensure a higher level of safety for EU citizens, while safeguarding the competitiveness and exports of the EU aviation industry;

22.  Calls on the Commission to lift the regulatory barriers to satellite-based air traffic surveillance in order to enable life-saving services for EU citizens, and asks the International Telecommunication Union to make the necessary spectrum allocation, as the ICAO has identified satellite ADS-B as the one technology that can assist flight tracking, also for air traffic management (ATM) purposes, outside of the most densely populated areas, where other forms of terrestrial ATM surveillance technologies are limited; stresses that when implementing ADS-B the needs of all airspace users must be considered and inter-operability between alternative technologies must be ensured in order to avoid safety and security breaches; emphasises that it could help governments, air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and airlines in Europe and around the world to increase air traffic management efficiency and capacity, thus reducing aviation emissions, and significantly enhance aviation safety, all while providing European airspace with another layer of surveillance that could augment the current one;

23.  Calls on the Commission to take measures in line with the EASA recommendations following the Germanwings incident with a view to improving the medical assessment of crew and the assistance provided to them;

24.  Insists on ‘risk-based security’ for passenger and freight transport instead of reaction-based measures, on a fair and balanced approach to the sensitive issue of aviation safety in order to meet the needs and expectations of Member States on the one hand and to avoid an unsatisfactory experience for passengers at airports on the other hand, and on a strengthening of the Aviation Security Service (AVSEC) and Stakeholder Advisory Group on Aviation Security (SAGAS) system for the creation of security measures; urges the Commission, therefore, to undertake a feasibility study on the implementation of a pre-check system in Europe equivalent to what is being done in the United States;

25.  Calls on the budgetary authorities to maintain a competitive budget for the EASA that takes account of those new responsibilities, in order to have flexible and effective tools available for EU air transport companies to compete worldwide; calls on the Commission to ensure the completion of the original Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) budget, which was affected by the establishment of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI);

26.  Calls on the Commission to address all the aforementioned issues in its Aviation Legislative Package to be delivered by the end of 2015;

27.  Calls on the Commission to encourage the Council to examine the options for resolving any current dispute between Member States which is impeding numerous legislation packages relating to air transport;

28.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.



OJ C 74 E, 20.3.2008, p. 658.


OJ C 380 E, 11.12.2012, p.5.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0290.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0220.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0221.


Texts adopted, P8_TA-PROV(2015)0392.

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