Belgocontrol, even more so than others, deals with a busy and complex airspace and is therefore convinced that the expansion of air traffic implies an increased international cooperation.
That is why it supports and prepares the initiative of the Single European Sky of the European Commission. This initiative advocates a reorganisation of the airspace, closer civil-military collaboration and a harmonisation of technologies.
One of the key objectives of the Single European Sky is to improve the overall efficiency of the way in which European airspace is organised and managed. Currently, the ATM system in Europe is split up according to the State boundaries. The European Single Sky aims to harmonise it in function of the operational efficiency, which includes an improvement of safety and capacity, a decrease in costs and a lesser impact on environment. The aim is also to prepare for air traffic to pick up again.
The achievement of these objectives is structured around a package of four regulations of the European Parliament and of the Council entered into force on 20 April 2004:
- The framework regulation (EC) n° 549/2004, lays down the decision-making process at political and institutional level,
- Regulation (EC) n° 550/2004 concerning the provision of air navigation services within the Single European Sky,
- Regulation (EC) n° 551/2004 concerning the organisation and use of the airspace within the Single European Sky,
- Regulation (CE) n° 552/2004 concerning the interoperability of the European air traffic management network.
On 25 March 2009, the European Parliament approved a series of regulations –Single European Sky II – issued by the Commission on June 25th. This second legislative package completed the measures of 2004. This package includes among others:
- The introduction of performance objectives in the field of safety, capacity, flight efficiency, cost/efficiency ratio and environment.
- The organisation of airspace with the obligation to implement the FAB (Functional Airspace Blocks) in 2012 at the latest.
- The charging system has been modified to incorporate the following new principles:
- The air navigation service provider has to be remunerated for all services provided
- The users only pay for the services they have received
- No more cross-subsidies between en-route charges and terminal charges
- The creation of a regulatory framework for the SESAR project (Single European Sky ATM Research) that aims to standardize aeronautical equipment and ensure its development.
- A wider scope of activities for the EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency)
As an integrated service provider (ATS, AIM, Meteorology, etc.), Belgocontrol intends to enhance its expertise on an international level and to position itself as a proactive partner in implementing the Single European Sky.