IATA denies bottom-up national strategy approach is weakening aims of the Single European Sky

IATA has outlined its new strategy to get the most consequential individual states to develop their national air navigation services in partnership with airlines in line with what is needed for the Single European Sky.

The International Air Transport Association said the solution is a National Airspace Strategy (NAS) where state-specific policies would be based on smarter regulation principles. This would include consultation with airspace users; a multi-stakeholder governance structure; a roadmap with agreed milestones; and supporting cost/benefit analyses.

It said each NAS should integrate with the wider European airspace network to maximize efficiency, deliver Single Sky goals, and align with environmental requirements. “Reliability,” it said, “will be a core requirement of a NAS. Business continuity must be put in place to ensure service quality, resilience must be built into processes, recovery plans are vital, and contingency capability must be established nationally and/or with FAB partners”.

“This is not just about investment,” said Rafael Schvartzman, IATA’s regional vice president for Europe. This is about having an airspace strategy that is coherent on the national and regional level. A NAS will drive efficiencies and ultimately help Europe implement a Single European Sky. We are working very hard on collaborating with ANSPs and we are getting a positive response.”

IATA said it has been in close contact with the air navigation service providers (ANSP) in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Poland, and Spain.

“In all these nations, the ANSP is interested in developing a national airspace strategy with IATA and other stakeholders,” said IATA, adding that the aim must be to deliver ATM reforms that will generate more choice for passengers, greater traffic volumes to benefit airlines and ANSPs, and an economic boost for Europe.

“The airline community expects an airspace strategy to put service dependability and reliability at its very heart,” said IATA director general Alexander de Juniac. “I want to stress that taking this bottom-up approach is not about weakening the aims of the SES. We are as keen as ever that the goals of this project are met, and will continue to offer the European Commission every support. But we believe working bottom up as an industry will be complementary and bring real benefits to European ATM performance.”

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