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The Free Movement Call for Action

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9 Principles to Promote Free Movement by Air, Reliable Airspace and Prosperity

Air travel is a crucial enabler of economic activity in Europe, directly affecting the wider tourism industry, businesses across most sectors of the economy, and job creation. Even a small increase in air travel can bring substantial socio-economic benefits, especially in areas of Europe affected by high youth unemployment. The connectivity provided by the European transport network provides a crucial conduit for trade, tourism and economic growth.

  1. Air travel is essential to the free movement of citizens in Europe and a cornerstone of the European Single Market. It needs to be safeguarded and promoted.
  2. A reliable air transport system will enable passengers and businesses to enjoy fully the benefits of free movement by air in Europe.
  3. Improving the management of the European airspace is vital for the air transport sector to remain competitive and contribute to prosperity in the EU.
  4. Air traffic control is a crucial element of the air transport system. Disruption to air traffic control provision, resulting from industrial disputes involving air traffic controllers, has been frequent in recent years and has spoiled travel plans of millions of consumers, bringing about inefficiency and unnecessary cost.
  5. Continuity of service, an underlying objective of the Single European Sky, needs to apply to the provision of air traffic services.
  6. ICAO guidance specifies that States should take appropriate action to ensure that adequate air traffic services will continue to be provided to international civil aviation operations, which do not involve landing or take-off in the country affected by industrial action.
  7. Airlines, airports, air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and their staff, as well as consumer and business organizations, decision-makers and all affected stakeholders must work together to immediately put in place voluntary remedies which are available today, and to identify and implement over a medium-term, structural solutions to minimise disruption and cost to passengers and businesses resulting from air traffic control service disruption.
  8. With active support of all signatories, ANSPs and ANSP employees are called to voluntarily undertake, as soon as possible and without delay, to:
    • Actively and in good faith participate in arbitration or another form of conciliatory procedure consistent with the relevant national law before threatening industrial action
    • Protect flights overflying the country affected by industrial action while ensuring this does not come at the expense of flights to and from the country affected
    • Provide a 21-day advance notification of strike action
    • Provide a 72h advance notification of participation in industrial action, at individual employee level, so as to improve the predictability of the level of disruption
    • Implement cooperation mechanisms to explore means to minimize the impact of ATC service disruption
  9. Committed to a successful implementation of the voluntary commitments set out above, the signatories to this Declaration also undertake to coordinate their efforts with those of ANSPs, air traffic controllers, Eurocontrol and the European and national authorities, so as to identify and implement, over a medium term, structural solutions capable of further minimising disruption to the air transport system arising from air traffic control strikes, such as:
    • Service provision by one or a group of third country ANSPs over the country affected by strike action
    • Right of redress with ANSPs for the impact of disruption resulting from strike action, to encourage constructive engagement in industrial relations disputes
    • Minimum service provisions
    • Air travel is a crucial enabler of economic activity in Europe, directly affecting the wider tourism industry, businesses across most sectors of the economy, and job creation. Even a small increase in air travel can bring substantial socio-economic benefits, especially in areas of Europe affected by high youth unemployment. The connectivity provided by the European transport network provides a crucial conduit for trade, tourism and economic growth.

 

The Free Movement Call for Action Endorsed by A4E CEOs and EU politicians in 2016

About A4E

Launched in 2016, Airlines for Europe (A4E) is Europe’s largest airline association, based in Brussels. The organisation advocates on behalf of its members to help shape EU aviation policy to the benefit of consumers, ensuring a continued safe and competitive air transport market. With more than 720 million passengers carried each year, A4E members account for more than 70 per cent of the continent’s journeys, operating more than 3,000 aircraft and generating more than EUR 130 billion in annual turnover. Members with air cargo and mail activities transport more than 5 million tons of goods each year to more than 360 destinations either by freighters or passenger aircraft. Current members include Aegean, airBaltic, Air France-KLM Group, Cargolux, easyJet, Finnair, Icelandair, International Airlines Group (IAG), Jet2.com, Lufthansa Group, Norwegian, Ryanair Holdings, Smartwings, TAP Air Portugal, TUI and Volotea. In 2019, A4E was named “Airline & Aviation Business Development Organisation of the Year” by International Transport News. Follow us on Twitter @A4Europe.