EU countries could face trials over aviation

On a busy day, there are more than 33,000 flights in Europe. The picture shows all airborne planes as of March 17th 1:32 pm Illustration: flightradar24.com
On a busy day, there are more than 33,000 flights in Europe. The picture shows all airborne planes as of March 17th 1:32 pm Illustration: flightradar24.com

By Lasse Skou Andersen & Anders Godtfred-Rasmussen.

A merging of national airspaces was supposed to cut CO2 emissions and reduce costs of European aviation, but so far EU countries have failed to deliver. The European Comission is now on the course of taking legal action against member states.

The EU Commission is threatening to bring member and partner states to the European Court of Justice for failing to live up to their promises of creating the foundations for greener and more efficient aviation through a directive called the Single European Sky.

A source in the commission confirms that opening letters have been sent to 23 member states and 4 partner states.

They have until the end of March to explain why they have failed to implement the directive before the deadline.

Today, because of countries each having their own sovereign airspaces, planes in Europe take detours rather than the most direct route. According to reports from EUROCONTROL, the EU body for aviation, this means CO2 emissions from the sector are 7-12% higher than they could be, were the planes able to go directly.

The Single Sky directive aims to fix this by merging the national airspaces into nine so-called Functional Airspace Blocs. The deadline for the creation of these blocs was in December 2012, but only two have been established.
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