Select Committee on European Scrutiny Twentieth Report


COM(01) final 123/2

COM(01) 564 final 2

Commission Communication: Action programme on the creation of a Single
European Sky; and Draft Regulation laying down the framework for the
creation of a Single European Sky.

Draft Regulation on the provision of air navigation services in the Single
European Sky; Draft Regulation on the organisation and use of airspace in the
Single European Sky; and Draft Regulation on the interoperability of the
European air traffic management (ATM) network.

Legal base:Article 80(2) EC; co-decision; qualified majority voting
Document originated:(a) 30 November 2001
(b) 11 December 2001
Forwarded to the Council: 12 October 2001 [original documents]
Deposited in Parliament: (a) 30 January 2002
(b) 4 February 2002
Department:Transport, Local Government and the Regions
Basis of consideration: (a) EM of 11 February 2002
(b) EM of 14 February 2002
Previous Committee Report: None; but see (22802) 12692/01; (22804) 12693/01: HC 152­vii (2001­02), paragraph 1 (21 November 2001)
To be discussed in Council: 25/26 March 2002
Committee's assessment:Legally and politically important
Committee's decision:For debate on the Floor of the House (together with the Communication on a Single European Sky already recommended for debate[6] and in place of earlier versions)


  4.1  In July 2000 the previous Committee recommended for debate the Commission's proposals for creating a Single European Sky, which included:

  • establishing routes regardless of national frontiers in order to maximise use of airspace;

  • ensuring better coordination between civil and military use of airspace; and

  • separating regulation and service provision in air traffic management and air traffic control within Member States and within Eurocontrol.

  4.2  On 21 November 2001 we recommended for debate on the Floor of the House (together with the earlier document) the Commission's Action Programme and draft Regulations relating to the Single European Sky.

  4.3  Negotiations on the proposals have been progressing slowly and the debate on the Floor of the House has not yet been held.

The documents

  4.4  The two documents are revised versions of those we recommended for debate in November. Document (a) sets out a framework regulation for Air Traffic Management in Europe, including ideas on civil/military coordination. It includes an action programme and a framework regulation to create the Single European Sky. The framework regulation is supported by a further Communication, document (b), setting out three specific regulatory proposals to create the Single European Sky.

  4.5  The changes to the two documents are not significant. Those to document (a) relate to drafting, grammar or recitals. In document (b), there are no changes to the text of the Communication itself, and the 27 amendments to the appended three Regulations are mainly drafting changes or minor in scope. All the amendments are set out in the Minister's Explanatory Memorandum.

The Government's view

  4.6  The Government remains concerned about several aspects of the documents. Its concerns, which were covered in detail in our previous Report, relate to making the Regulations applicable to the military's use of airspace, the possible effect of the Regulations on the viability of National Air Traffic Services (NATS), and the precise roles of the Single Sky Committee and Eurocontrol, especially the Committee's advisory and regulatory powers. In the case of Eurocontrol, the Government wishes to see a clear separation of the powers of regulatory authorities and service providers, as exists in the UK with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and NATS.


  4.7  We have already provided a detailed account of the earlier versions of these documents. The substantive content of the current documents is the same as the previous versions; the differences are mainly drafting changes. We report these revised versions formally to the House so that the debate already recommended, which we expect to take place soon, can be based on the latest versions. We accordingly recommend these two documents for debate on the Floor of the House (together with the Commission's earlier Communication) in place of the documents we recommended for debate on 21 November 2001.

6  (20813) 13735/99: HC 23-xxiv (1999-2000), paragraph 2 (12 July 2000); debate recommendation confirmed on 18 July 2001: HC 152-1 (2001-02), paragraph 1. Back

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