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Parlamento Europeo - 18 settembre 1992
Air traffic control

RESOLUTION A3-0254/92

Resolution on saturation of airspace and air traffic control

The European Parliament,

-having regard to its previous resolutions on air traffic control and air traffic safety,

-having regard to the decisions adopted by the Ministers of Transport at the meeting of the European Civil Aviation Conference in Paris on 24 April 1990,

-having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the Council on Community initiatives concerning air transport incidents and accidents (SEC(91)1419),

-having regard to the motions for resolutions:

(a)by Mrs Banotti and Mrs Daly on air traffic control (B3-0216/89),

(b)by Mr Marleix on air traffic control problems in Europe (B3-0046/90),

(c)by Mrs Braun-Moser on the institution by the Commission of an EC air traffic control authority (B3-1564/90),

(d)by Mr Puerta and others on the deficiencies of the air traffic control arrangements at Barajas Airport (Madrid) (B3-0268/91),

(e)by Mr Robles Piquer on a new Community strategy on air transport (B3-0678/91),

(f)by Mr Coimbra Martins and Mr Torres Couto on airport safety (B3-0869/91),

-having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism

(A3-0254/92),

A.having regard to the existing lack of coordination and integration at Community level between the various national air traffic control (ATC) centres, which use incompatible equipment and do not operate jointly agreed rules or systems,

B.whereas European airspace is still organized on the basis of principles established in the late 1940s, which are obviously no longer adequate to cope with current political circumstances in the Community and in Europe as a whole,

C.whereas the sectorial and fragmented organization of Community airspace does not meet the requirements of environmental standards, safety, efficiency, economy and traffic flow which are essential for the rational management of air traffic,

D.whereas safety is a fundamental factor in air transport and ATC, and whereas there are no harmonized Community rules in this field,

E.having regard to the growth in air traffic demand and, in particular, the growth forecast to the end of the century and beyond to 2010,

F.whereas the increase in air traffic and inadequate airspace management have led to saturation of airspace in some zones and congestion of air traffic,

G.having regard to the existing deficiencies in airport infrastructure, which affect airport capacity, and to the forecasts pointing to congestion at an increasing number of Community airports,

H.whereas a Community policy on airports should include the connecting up of large airports with the train network, making it possible for part of short-haul air traffic to be taken over by the railways, which are environmentally more acceptable,

I.whereas there does not exist at Community level an airspace and airport policy which would encourage the development of air traffic capacity and the drawing up of common rules and procedures for safety within the airport approach areas and for ground movement control commensurate with the revised capacity levels,

J.whereas it has consistently and unsuccessfully sought the development of a coordinated European air traffic control system in various reports since 1980,

K.whereas the benefits of Community policy on the liberalization/harmonization of civil aviation will only be felt if there is efficient and rational management of airspace and airports,

L.whereas the recent approval of the third package of air transport liberalization measures and the resulting increase in air traffic which that will involve will inevitably worsen airspace saturation,

M.whereas airport congestion and saturation of airspace are serious obstacles to the introduction of an efficient air transport system in Europe and to the free movement of persons and goods,

N.whereas the low productivity of the existing ATC system leads to substantial costs to airlines, general aviation, the military sector, users and ultimately to the business, industrial and social life of the Community in general,

O.whereas the deficiencies of the system are leading to a deterioration in the working conditions of employees in the aviation industry, especially air traffic controllers, and increasing avoidable stress affecting all aircrew in flight whether in commercial air transport, aerial work, general aviation or the military sector,

P.concerned to note that the Council has excluded ground staff from the directive on mutual acceptance of personnel licences for the exercise of functions in civil aviationOJ No. L 373, 31.12.1991, p. 21, contrary to the Commission's proposals and to Parliament's opinion,

Q.whereas air transport is international and whereas, consequently, the issues involve a large number of international organizations responsible for ATC matters, including the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO-CEAC), the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL) and the civil aviation authorities of the Member States,

R.whereas individual Member States apply the ICAO rules in very different ways, since the Chicago Convention simply obliges States to indicate the ways in which they depart from international standards, and whereas problems arising should be dealt with in the context of the single integrated framework of the Community as a whole,

S.having regard to the impact of new technologies such as Communications, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) by satellite (cf. Decisions of ICAO, 10th Air Navigation Meeting - September 1991 to adopt common standards for global satellite services in support of ATC) which will reduce the dependence upon separate national air traffic control systems and expensive ground-based installations, and which additionally demand a coordinated and planned European approach,

T.bearing in mind that those parts of European industry linked to aviation must undertake medium- and long-term planning in order to contribute to and benefit from the large investment and manufacturing requirements in the years ahead,

Considers that the development of a Community policy for civil aviation and the establishment of an internal market in this sector must include not only measures involving market liberalization and commercial development but also a common policy on infrastructures (including the ATC question), safety, the environment and the harmonization of the social aspects and technical standards;

Takes the view also that, to date, this Community policy has not been sufficiently developed and urges the Commission to shoulder its responsibility for aviation safety, in particular as regards air traffic control, and the harmonization of rules and to submit proposals without delay;

Welcomes the decision taken in Maastricht to include in the Treaty on European Union a new subparagraph (c) in Article 75(1) (for the adoption of measures to improve transport safety) and a new Title XII on Trans-European Networks (of which transport infrastructure is an internal part);

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL (ATC)

Considers that the rational management of the Community's airspace, in keeping with the requirements of safety, efficiency, economy and air traffic flow, entails, as an initial objective, the harmonization and integration of the different national ATC systems, with a view to achieving the long-term objective of a single unified ATC system covering the entire Community airspace and controlled by a single Community Civil Aviation Authority;

Considers that the desirable harmonization of ATC systems to achieve immediate capacity improvement will quickly face diminishing returns as it comes up against the basic incompatibility between national systems and that it must therefore be followed by the creation and progressive implementation of a suitable single unified system for Community air traffic management;

Calls on the Commission to submit at the earliest opportunity proposals for the creation of a Community Civil Aviation Authority, which should be established by 1 January 1996, with responsibility inter alia for the planning, development, management and operation of air traffic control, thereby making it possible to introduce the appropriate legal instruments, to be binding on the Member States, to facilitate:

(a)common safety rules for air transport,

(b)a consistent policy regarding common rules and procedures for air traffic management,

(c)the acquisition of, and procurement standards and use of agreed procedures for equipment for ATC purposes and flight safety for all types of aircraft,

(d)planning, coordination and financing of the investment in ATC and airport infrastructure required for the introduction of a single system,

(e)the establishment of suitable financial provisions and work programmes to encourage research and development required to create new technologies, products and equipments for advanced air traffic control purposes for implementation from 2000,

(f)the participation of Community industry in these developments with a view to establishing a Community capability which can meet the demands specified by international markets for services in this sector,

(g)an adequate training policy for air and ground staff,

(h)a single administration under the authority of the Commission to regulate ATC operations throughout the Community,

thus avoiding duplication of effort and permitting economies of scale;

Welcomes the Commission's independent study drawn up by DG XIII, known as ATLAS, that will provide functional specifications for a single unified system using advanced telecommunications and informatics techniques which would be suitable for introduction from 1998 and notes that the results of this study will be available by 1993;

Notes the existence of the EURET programme, drawn up by the Commission's DG VII in the field of ATC, the results of which will be available by 1994, and considers that this programme and its follow-up should establish as a priority the creation of a single ATC system at Community level;

Stresses the need for a planned strategy for the introduction and implementation of the single ATC system and calls for a permanent group of experts to be established within the Commission, with the help of Member States, so as to enable the Commission to submit a report in which the main measures proposed and the timetable are clearly indicated;

10.Calls on the Member States to ensure that their national civil aviation authorities cooperate fully and actively with the Commission in setting up a single and consistent ATC system;

11.Stresses the need for the Community to encourage research and technological development programmes (see Title XV of the Treaty on European Union) which may determine the future structure of the single ATC system; these programmes will enable the Community's industries to develop their competitive capacity to satisfy the demand for the new equipment that will be needed;

12.Considers that as a result of advanced technologies such as satellites the Community airspace could be coordinated and planned as a single entity to provide a single cost effective air transportation infrastructure throughout the confines of the single market, in accordance with Article 129b, Title XII of the Treaty;

SAFETY AND TECHNICAL HARMONIZATION

13.Urges the Commission to submit as soon as possible proposals for:

(a)air safety checks, including notification of, and inquiries into, accidents, technical incidents and near misses,

(b)the creation of a common data bank for accidents, technical incidents and near misses,

(c)safety in the cockpit and passenger cabin,

(d)safety of airports, including harmonization of safety standards and procedures,

(e)compensation for accidents;

14.Notes the publication of Council Regulation (EEC) No. 3922/91 of 16 December 1991 on the harmonization of technical requirements and administrative procedures in the field of civil aviationOJ No. L 373, 31.12.91, p. 4 and reaffirms the position adopted in its opinion of 12 September 1991OJ No. C 267, 14.10.91, p. 152 in favour of greater harmonization of the technical requirements for which the future European Civil Aviation Authority should be responsible, and also calls on the Commission to submit its proposal on harmonization of the technical specifications of ATC equipment as soon as possible;

15.Recognizes that a strategic plan is required urgently to ensure that the short-term plans for harmonization do not inhibit the possibilities of creating a suitable single unified system for Community air traffic management;

ACTIVITIES OF THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

16.Notes the programme adopted by the ECAC to establish a central flow management unit for Europe and the role which has been delegated to EUROCONTROL to manage this harmonization programme, but takes the view that this cannot be sufficient and once more presses for Community powers and action;

17.Recognizes the work which the ECAC and EUROCONTROL are doing to create the basis for a single unified system of air traffic control for Europe, whilst noting nevertheless their organizational limitations as far as implementing a common legislative policy in civil aviation is concerned;

18.Stresses the need for the Community to undertake responsibility for these legislative matters on behalf of all Member States and calls on the Member States to delegate the necessary powers to the Commission so that it may represent them as a full member of the international organizations responsible for civil aviation;

AIRPORT POLICY

19.Stresses the need to implement, at Community level, an airport policy with a view to undertaking studies and submitting proposals for increasing airport capacity, and drawing up common safety rules and procedures;

20.Stresses the need to develop an airspace structure linking regional airports and providing air traffic services to this sector; it should also provide an adequate number of take-off and landing slots to give feeder airlines access to essential hub airports which serve international routes; a cohesive regional-international air link service may thus be established throughout the Community which will benefit regional development;

21.Considers that the Community transport infrastructure policy and the Trans-European Networks must include the creation of ATC facilities within the context of total interaction between air, rail, sea, inland waterway and road transport facilities throughout the Community;

22.Calls on the Governments of the Member States and the airport authorities to increase investment on airport infrastructure in line with requirements resulting from increasing economic activity;

MILITARY AIRSPACE

23.Notes the existence of airspace zones reserved for military purposes, stresses the need for a more flexible use of this airspace and the need to make it available to a greater extent for civil aviation through coordination between civil and military air traffic controllers;

24.Stresses that any consideration of Community airspace as a single entity for air traffic operations must be accompanied by the reduction to a minimum of airspace reserved for military purposes, which would be consistent with the new political situation in Europe; believes that the matter of operational control of this airspace would need to be considered within the provisions of a common foreign and security policy for the European Community;

SOCIAL ASPECTS

25.Reaffirms the need to harmonize, throughout the Community and to the highest common denominator, the licences of all civil aviation personnel, covering flight and cabin crew members on all civil aircraft of any size or capacity which are operated for the conveyance of passengers or freight, all ground staff responsible for the maintenance or movement of aircraft and all ATC staff responsible for the control of aircraft whilst in flight in Community airspace or in the manoeuvring zones whilst on the ground at civil airports;

26.To this end, urges the Commission to submit proposals establishing joint requirements for the issue of licences, health standards and the working and rest periods of the personnel involved, also covering training programmes throughout the Community;

27.Believes that the reduction in costs as a result of introducing the single ATC system will make it possible to provide resources to finance the necessary social adjustments;

ENVIRONMENT

28.Calls on the Commission to examine what fuel savings can be achieved with optimum flight routes and how local noise and environmental problems (at and in the vicinity of airports) and global emission problems (notably in the stratosphere) in connection with air transport can be integrated into air traffic control;

29.Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council and the Governments of the Member States.

 
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