In a landmark occasion for European air transport, the contract for the definition phase for the Single European Sky Implementation Program was ratified on November 17 by 29 partners in the Air Traffic Alliance, the vice president of the European Commission and the director general of Eurocontrol.
Among the consortium members are the Association of European airlines, along with member airlines Air France, Lufthansa, Iberia and KLM. Participants also include other airspace-user associations, a number of major airports, air navigation service providers, and some major industrial suppliers to the sector. The long-term project, to deliver a truly European airspace – efficiently structured and managed – by 2020, has acquired a new name, SESAR.
Single Sky, however, has been a political reality since about 18 months ago when the framework legislation was put in place. The task now is to turn this legal framework into a fully functional system that delivers benefits for the airlines, their customers, and the environment. The Air Traffic Alliance is a partnership of diverse entities, united with a common purpose.