08 March 2024


After a decade of negotiations MEPs and the Belgian Presidency of the Council reached a provisional agreement on new EU rules to optimise flight routes, reduce flight delays and cut CO2 emissions. The Single European Sky (SES) agreement aims to enhance performance, organisation and management of European airspace while reducing CO2 emissions.

The agreed text introduces performance plans for air navigation services. These plans aim to improve the network management of EU airspace by implementing binding targets and incentives, fostering more efficient and environmentally friendly flights. Under the new rules, the Commission will adopt EU performance targets on capacity, cost efficiency, climate and environmental factors for air navigation services. These services will be evaluated against these targets at least every three years. The Commission will also have to conduct a study to determine how charges, imposed on airspace users for the provision of services, could encourage a more environmentally friendly approach.

The provisional agreement still needs approval from the Council Committee of Permanent Representatives and Parliament's Transport and Tourism Committee, as well as the Council and Parliament as a whole.

In 2013 Commission proposed revising the Single European Sky rules, but the file was stuck with member states until Brexit, which prompted the Commission to upgrade the proposal in 2020. The following year legislators updated their positions and engaged in trilogue negotiations to agree on new draft rules.

Source: European Parliament, Council of the EU