16 July 2021


On 15 July, the European Commission decided to send reasoned opinions to Cyprus, France, Greece, Malta, Portugal and Slovakia for failing to provide and operate data link services for the Single European Sky for all operators of appropriately equipped aircraft flying within the airspace under their responsibility. The decision follows letters of formal notice sent on 15 May 2020, and additional letters of formal notice sent on 18 February 2021.  

Each Member State is required by Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 29/2009, in conjunction with Article 4(3) TEU, to take these measures so that designated air traffic service providers are able to provide and operate these services. Communications between aircraft and the ground conveyed through data links complement the voice communications used traditionally between the cockpit and air traffic control centres. Deploying this interoperable technology in Europe is essential to improving the efficiency of communications between pilots and controllers, thereby increasing air traffic control capacity.  

The deadline for the providers to operate data link services expired and a lack of equipment in certain control centres is effectively preventing aircraft operators, which were also required to equip themselves with the technology, from using data link services. The Member States concerned now have two months to take the necessary measures. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union. 

Source: European Commission