Development of the Single European Sky

Ekaterina Kirilova Stefanova


The objective of the research is to present the development of the Single European Sky initiative and to outline its importance for the European economy and the European aviation industry. The paper reviews in detail the concept of the Single European Sky, the economic factors that have led to its formation and the European regulatory framework comprised of a set of EU-wide rules on Air Traffic Management (ATM) safety, on the provision of ATM services, on airspace management and on interoperability within the network, as well as financial support to the technological modernization programme (the SESAR project). It presents the rulemaking activity of the European Commission to deal with the inefficiency of the European ATM System due to the fragmented character of international airspace, fragmented into smaller air traffic control centres divided by the national boundaries, effectively limiting integration, interoperability, and economies of scale, and leading to induced delays, excessive air-traffic control costs and uneconomical flight trajectories. The applied research methodology includes content analysis, analysis of statistical data, historical data, conclusions, and generalizations. The hypothesis is that the strategic goals of the Single European Sky initiative and its implementation are beneficial for the competitiveness of the European aviation industry, and the common rules and the introduction of a harmonized legislative framework will contribute to improving the efficiencies of ATM while accounting for the interests and singularities of all stakeholders in the European aviation value chain.

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