Motion for a resolution - B8-1152/2015Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the future Aviation Package

4.11.2015 - (2015/2933(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission
pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Ismail Ertug on behalf of the S&D Group

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

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


The European Parliament,

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

A.  whereas in 2012, the air transport economy in Europe directly supported 2.6 million jobs and contributed over 2.4% of EU GDP;

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

C.  whereas EU airlines face many competitive challenges on both internal and external markets;

D.  whereas the EU and its Member States have adopted various legal and financial regulations that have an impact on the European aviation sector;

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

1.  Considers that the Aviation Package should provide a much needed boost for a more sustainable European aviation industry, should improve the competitiveness of the sector, strengthen European airlines, airports and the aeronautic industry, ensure a level playing field in the global market, and set out a long-term strategy for Europe’s aviation sector;

2.  Calls on the Commission to take into account and include the European Parliament’s first readings on 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, 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 to support and develop the aeronautics industry;

4.  Underlines the fact that innovation is a prerequisite for a competitive European aviation industry; recommends, therefore, that the Commission take into account and support innovation in the fields of air traffic management (automated ATC, free routing), RPASs, alternative fuel solutions, aircraft and engine design (greater efficiency, less noise), airport security (touchless solutions, 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 address CO2 emissions from international aviation, and also support regional schemes (such as the aviation ETS) with the goal of merging these into a global scheme, airport greening (green taxiing) and new business models (such as IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC), self-connection or integrated ticketing);

5.  Highlights the loss of competitiveness of EU airlines and airports vis-à-vis subsidised third-country carriers and airports; requests, in this context, a proactive policy to ensure a level playing field on ownership, and strongly encourages Member States to improve their national infrastructure to allow their airlines to compete on more favourable terms;

6.  Deplores the fact that Regulation (EC) No 868/2004 on protection against unfair pricing practices in the air transport sector has proven inadequate and ineffective in terms of scope; asks the Commission to issue an analysis of the causes of its non-implementation by November 2015 at the latest; calls on the Commission to revise Regulation (EC) No 868/2004 in order to safeguard fair competition in EU external aviation relations and reinforce the competitive position of the EU aviation industry, prevent unfair 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 ‘fair competition’ clause;

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 and to provide benefits to all stakeholders and passengers;

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 and their significant role in ensuring cohesion among EU regions; urges 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 regional cohesion should be part of the EU’s growth and jobs strategy;

10.  Emphasises that the negotiation of comprehensive aviation agreements with the EU’s major trading partners should be a strategic goal and that such negotiations should be launched or accelerated; urges the Commission to seek comprehensive mandates from the Member States as soon as possible in order to ensure a level playing field for European airlines and airports, ensure reciprocity and include an effective fair competition clause;

11.  Notes that the air transport sector is not regulated on a worldwide basis as it is not a WTO subject; stresses the importance of globally agreed rules within the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in order to reduce aviation emissions and the climate impact; recognises that ICAO is committed to the development of a 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, as the existing fragmentation of European airspace is a major burden on European air carriers;

13.  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;

14.  Emphasises that Europe has one of the most liberalised aviation market in the world and that competition should not weaken social standards in order to gain competitive advantages;

15.  Expects that the Aviation Package will have to make provision for safe legislation that is directly linked to working conditions in the aviation sector, as the EU needs to use the full range of internal and external tools available to defend the European aviation industry more effectively against unfair practices;

16.  Requests the enhancement and harmonisation of the safety chain is by attracting and retaining a skilled, highly trained and forward-looking workforce through good working conditions;

17.  Recommends that DG Move and DG EMPL work together and that the Aviation Package includes social provisions, as discussed during the high-level conference entitled ‘A social agenda for transport’ organised by the Commission on 4 June 2015;

18.  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;

19.  Recommends that application of the Directive on temporary agency work be revised in order to promote direct employment as the standard model and limit the use of atypical employment;

20.  Suggests measures to combat the increase in socially problematic business practices such as ‘flags of convenience’ and the use of atypical forms of employment such as bogus self-employment, pay-to-fly schemes, and zero hours contracts; considers that these should be forbidden as they have potential safety implications; calls for a revised definition of a company’s ‘principal place of business’ that would require airlines to demonstrate substantial aviation activities in a country;

21.  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;

22.  Welcomes the intention to increase the EASA’s responsibilities and therefore expects the amended Basic Regulation (2016/2008) 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;

23.  Calls on the Commission to strengthen the role of the EASA on the international scene and to ensure its official recognition within ICAO, in order to establish a single EU voice that will ensure a higher level of safety for EU citizens worldwide, while safeguarding the competitiveness and exports of the EU aviation industry;

24.  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 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 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 lowering infrastructure costs and providing European airspace with another layer of surveillance that could augment the current one;

25.  Calls on the Commission to take measures with a view to improving medical assessment of pilots and the security, entry and exit procedures relating to cockpit doors, following the risk assessment in the EASA Task Force Report;

26.  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, 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;

27.  Calls on the budgetary authorities to maintain a competitive budget for the EASA that takes into account those new responsibilities, in order to have flexible and effective tools available for EU air transport companies to compete worldwide; in addition, asks the Member States and the Commission to increase public financial support for aviation security – which is the norm in other regions of the world, including the United States – in order to allow European airports to boost their competitive position by lowering their airport charges;

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

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