Integrated air traffic management will benefit African airlines too, says the body.The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is urging the European
Union to speed up the creation of a Single European Sky (SES).
It says the integration of a patchwork of national air traffic control systems into one pan-European scheme can save cash-strapped airlines billions.
IATA director-general and CE Giovanni Bisignani says the European Union has been talking about a SES since 1991 – but has taken no action.
“We`ve been talking about a SES for decades. Now is the time to make it a reality,” Bisignani says.
At present, each European country is responsible for its own air traffic management (ATM) as all claim sovereignty of their sky. This has resulted in a serious multiplication of effort and expense on the side of the states concerned and inefficient air routings for airlines.
“An effective SES would shave $5.5 billion off the fuel bill with more efficient air traffic management. And it would reduce carbon emissions from airlines by as much as 12 million tons,” the IATA chief says.
The move would benefit all airlines flying to-and-from Europe, including many from SA and elsewhere in Africa.
It would also lead to the consolidation of ATM on the ground that would bring about substantial savings in ICT for ATM organisations.