A new Transport Commissioner, the same disappointing approach

21 Nov 2014, keywords :

After the appointment of the new Commission, CESI member ATCEUC expected some fresh ideas. Two weeks in and the new European Commissioner of Transport, Violeta Bulc, is repeating the same misleading statements.

A new Transport Commissioner, the same disappointing approach

The new Commissioner blamed the Air Traffic Management (ATM) sector for being responsible for the aviation delays and longer routes. Shouldn’t she know better? ATM is responsible for less than 30 seconds of delay per flight and this is about 8% of the primary delay, while airlines are responsible for 54%! 

Nowadays, there is no gridlock in the skies, but the European Commission should stop putting additional pressure on the system. During the last 3 years, Air Navigation Service Providers have been under pressure to cut costs and they have stopped or drastically reduced recruitment and investments as a result. At the same time, Air Traffic Controllers are now facing traffic growth and the European Commission is demanding additional cuts. Is this really a growth-oriented system, where recruitment and investments are close to none?

Furthermore, the Single European Sky II package has not been fully implemented yet and the European Commission already wants to enforce a third one. ATCEUC believes that this new approach, only focused on centralisation and liberalisation, will only result in the destruction of the safety chain and put the principle of subsidiarity at risk. ATCEUC strongly opposes the European Commission’s option to sacrifice 9,400 jobs, which will impact on safety and service quality.

ATCEUC invites the new Commissioner to follow her own words and to start analysing the existing problems with a solution-oriented mindset. It is time for the European Commission to listen to those who work, on a daily basis, to keep European skies safe. It is time for the new European Commissioner to stop repeating the same exact – and yet, inaccurate and misleading – words of Mr. Kallas, if she wants to succeed in bringing all stakeholders on board.

ATCEUC represents 28 unions and is the voice of 14,000 ATCOs across Europe. You can read more about the ATCEUC here

You can read the ATCEUC press on the latest speech from the Transport Commissioner here.