European controller unions sceptical over Single Sky targets

The targets set for the next Single European Sky programme represent a ‘missed’ opportunity to apply a fresh approach, according to European controller unions.

” A lack of flexibility, the top down approach and one size fits all solution remain unchanged and will only cause the same difficulties for the ATM sector as it has throughout the first and second reference periods,” said union umbrella group ATCEUC.

At it latest general assembly in Belgrade which coincided with the announcement of  the performance targets for the next reference period, ATCEUC said investment by air navigation service providers (ANSP) in staff and technology risks being undermined by the latest decision of the Single Sky Committee.

“Even modest cost increases would have allowed us at least to reverse the trend. The capacity of the system to absorb future growth and deal with new challenges would have been assured but now even this resilience is endangered,” it said.

Following many months of consultation and detailed input by staff organisations, ATCEUC said it remained sceptical that the EC capacity targets could be considered realistic.

“Current 1.8 minutes average delay per fight is only the logical result of a series of disastrous decisions which cannot be easily or quickly reversed. The recruitment of new air traffic controllers is the only realistic starting point on the road to a sustainable solution to the issue of delays,” it said.

Read Europe’s challenging targets for ATM must be applied flexibly: CANSO