Unifying Europe’s Airspace
“Europe’s air traffic management system is under harsh scrutiny for its lack of cohesiveness during the unexpected shutdown of airspace over much of northern Europe in April 2010, as an ash cloud drifted from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano. The unprecedented closure of European airspace cost airlines and related businesses more than 2.5 billion euros (about $3.15 billion). As a remedy, the European Union agreed to fast-track the long-awaited Single European Sky (SES) program, with plans for implementation by 2012.
The SES program will unify European airspace, simplify and standardize flight rules and routes, and install a comprehensive computer system to standardize communications. The goal is to consolidate the airspaces of 27 countries into nine regional blocks that could share air traffic control systems and governance. By merging the airspace, pilots can fly more direct routes, decreasing fuel costs and pollution.
The SES program would overhaul an air traffic management system that has remained unchanged since the 1960s and has contributed to flight congestion. A unified system would boost airspace capacity and improve air safety for both civilian and military flights...”
Excerpt from per Concordiam Staff, “Unifying Europe’s Airspace,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 1, No. 4, 2010: 36-39.
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