Single European Sky 2+ package

Briefing 05-04-2024

The Single European Sky (SES) initiative seeks to make EU airspace less fragmented and to improve air traffic management in terms of safety, capacity, cost-efficiency and the environment. Its current regulatory framework is based on two legislative packages: SES I (adopted in 2004), which set up the principal legal framework, and SES II (adopted in 2009), which aimed to tackle substantial air traffic growth, increase safety, and reduce costs and delays and the impact of air traffic on the environment. Nonetheless, European airspace remains fragmented, costly and inefficient. The European Commission presented a revision of the SES in 2013 (the SES 2+ package). While the Parliament adopted its first-reading position in March 2014, in December 2014 the Council agreed only a partial general approach, owing to disagreement between the UK and Spain over the application of the text to Gibraltar airport. With Brexit having removed this blockage, the Commission has amended its initial proposal. Following lengthy negotiations, the Council and Parliament negotiating teams reached a provisional agreement at early second reading on 6 March 2024. This now needs formal adoption by both institutions. Third edition of a briefing originally drafted by Maria Niestadt. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.