On 4 February 2014, after a long debate inside the Single Sky Committee and with a narrow majority the European Union-wide performance targets for the Air Traffic Management (ATM) network for the second reference period (2015-2019) have been approved. The agreement demonstrates that the economic interest of the airlines remains the only priority for the Commission, who keeps ignoring the negative effects on jobs in the ATM sector.
Initially, the European Commission proposed an annual reduction of the Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) costs of 2.5%. The Commission also wanted a unit rate reduction* of 4.49% per year for a total of 22.41%.
It was one of the reasons the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) and its members mobilised on 30 January 2014 to protest against the SES 2+ package and against the unrealistic Commission approach on performance. The Action Day of the ETF produced traffic disruption causing 64,129 minutes of delay. The day before another staff organisation had an independent action to express the same concerns, generating traffic disruption causing 6,602 minutes of delay.
“Thanks to ETF’s efforts we could reduce the impracticable Commission targets and bring back a bit of realism in Europe”, commented François Ballestero, ETF Political Secretary.
Indeed, the costs of the ANSPs will be reduced with 10% in the next 5 years and the unit rate with 15%, which is still too high and do not reflect the cost reduction already achieved in the ATM sector in the last decade.
Riccardo Rubini, President of the ETF ATM Committee: “Despite the progress made, these targets are still very challenging for the Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) and their workers”.
The European Commission continues to ignore the negative social consequences that have been reported by Trade Unions in many Member States, and that are jeopardising the number and the quality of ATM jobs in Europe.
* unit rate is a coefficient that, together with the weight of the plane and the distance, gives the price for the ATM services for each flight