A6 Alliance Position: ECA report on the Single European Sky
European Court of Auditors (ECA) report on the Single European Sky
The A6 Alliance
welcomes the European Court of Auditors’ report on the Single European Sky and
the recognition of the culture change that has taken place across ANSPs in
recent years. We fully acknowledge the important role of ANSPs in the aviation
value chain. Our members work constantly to improve daily operations, ensuring
the safety of millions of passengers whilst meeting ever-growing demand for air
The A6 Alliance supports
many of the specific measures recommended in the ECA report, notably:
Revision of the SES High-level
goals: In setting revised goals, a clear distinction
should be made between long-term, high level goals and specific targets which
ANSPs are expected to meet in a particular timescale. ANSPs should not be
directed how to achieve those
performance targets and should be accountable only for delivering those aspects
within their control; not extraneous factors such as traffic levels and weather
Exploring and facilitating
alternative policy options to encourage defragmentation: FABs
have played a role in encouraging cooperation between ANSPs. However,
additional mechanisms for achieving performance improvements should be
encouraged, while avoiding over-regulation. A6 Alliance members have already
demonstrated the benefits such business-oriented collaborations can deliver,
such as COOPANS and iTEC.
Separating NSAs and ANSPs:
The A6 Alliance agrees that NSAs and ANSPs should be separate entities.
Reviewing and evolving key
performance indicators: We support the principle that
KPIs should capture overall gate-to-gate delay and that the environmental KPI
should consider both vertical and horizontal aspects. Consideration of
end-to-end delays must take into account all aspects of the aviation value
chain, not just delays generated by ANSPs, and recognise that some aspects are
outside ANSPs’ control.
Stable funding for R&D:
Funding for future R&D should continue to build upon the successful SESAR
programme. The two main functions of SESAR – coordination of R&D and
coordination of deployment – will be required beyond their current lifetime. We
support the recommendation to adapt the SESAR structures to address this.
Prioritisation of EU support to
R&D solutions: The SESAR solution datasets and the
CBAs contained in the ATM Master Plan should inform funding decisions. Whilst
R&D should be focused and prioritised, it is essential that a broad
spectrum of solutions is developed, covering all performance areas.
The A6 Alliance does
not support the proposal for the EC to inspect the eligibility of costs and
their allocation between terminal and en route charging zones (Recommendation
4). This is a national matter for national authorities.
Nor do we support the
proposal that the EC should have enforcing powers to directly establish binding
targets on ANSPs (Recommendation 5). We
believe strongly that targets should be set from the bottom-up, and not imposed
The A6 Alliance has
set out a proposal for the EC’s consideration which includes EU-wide targets
set within a range based on local traffic forecasts, involving NSAs; stronger
provision for NSAs’ local planning processes, including customer consultation
and transparency; the ability to review Performance Plans in the event of
changing justifiable circumstances; and consideration of the impact of other
stakeholder behaviours on network performance.