Common Charging Scheme

Parallel to the ‘common requirements' ensuing from the European regulation on the provision of air navigation services, there is a section concerning the charging of service provisions. A charging system common to all European air traffic control centres is being drawn up in order to achieve more transparency in fixing, imposing and receiving charges. Why? Although the common principles concerning the en route air traffic were put into practice, the cost structure and their repartition for specific services can vary significantly from one provider to another. In the context of the European Single Sky, where the services and the equipment will be harmonised and where the FAB (functional airspace blocks) will spread out beyond the national borders, common charging principles are essential.

As for the other regulations, it is the European Commission that is responsible for the practical implementing regulations. It has then published the Regulation n°1794/2006 on the common charging system for air navigation services. The determination of the unit rate has been harmonised.

In order to make the transparency effective, all providers of air navigation services will have to give information concerning their costs and their income that will be used for consultation purposes for the national supervisory authorities (ASSNA), the other providers of air navigation services, the users, and the European Commission.

This regulation has entered into force on January 1st 2007, but though the unit rate of 2007 was fixed in 2006, it will not be until 2008 that the effects of the new system will be felt. It is allowed to postpone the application of the ‘terminal charges' until December 31st 2009.

Belgocontrol did not wait for this regulation of the Commission to equip the company with an instrument for cost management, called Cost Accounting, which will be vital in this new context of transparency and efficiency.

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