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Mobility and Transport
News article14 December 2023Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport

Single European Sky: Performance Review Body publishes new reports prior to fourth reference period of performance and charging scheme (RP4)

The Performance Review Body (PRB) of the Single European Sky has produced three ad-hoc reports on air navigation service costs, which are published today.

1. Review of the reporting of meteorological costs for air navigation services

This analysis of the costs of meteorological (MET) services eligible for inclusion in air navigation services (ANS) cost bases covers regulatory background, current reporting approaches, and recommendations for future reporting. Transparency regarding the costs is crucial for the establishment of cost bases and for monitoring actual costs incurred, in accordance with Implementing Regulation 2019/317 (Performance and Charging Regulation).

The analysis reveals a lack of common understanding and standardisation in reporting methodologies. The flexibility given to National Supervisory Authorities (NSAs) in shaping answers leads to diverse allocation methods for MET core and direct air navigation service (ANS) costs. Some Member States use historical agreements, while others rely on current data or a combination. This results in different interpretations of MET costs. The PRB recommends updating the performance plan template so that data is more aligned. It also recommends developing additional technical guidance to define how MET cost information should be reported in en route and terminal charging zones, building on the insights gained from this report. Addressing these issues will improve consistency and completeness in reporting practices.

2. Review of the reporting of search and rescue costs for air navigation services

In its second report, the PRB analysed reporting practices for the costs of search and rescue (SAR) services eligible for inclusion in Member States’ ANS cost bases. The report identifies inconsistencies and provides recommendations.

The report reveals varying degrees of transparency among Member States when reporting SAR costs; also, not all countries choose to include these costs in their performance plan ANS cost bases. The analysis of SAR cost reporting reveals diverse interpretations of the regulatory framework. Civil aviation and other sectors within the Member States often follow different allocation methodologies. To enhance transparency and consistency, the PRB recommends updating the performance plan template to better align reporting methodologies. It also proposes developing technical guidance material to clarify SAR cost information, specifying eligible costs, detailing principles for cost allocation, and establishing transparent reporting procedures.

3. Air navigation services and infrastructure used by both civil and military airspace users under the performance and charging Regulation of the Single European Sky

Single European Sky (SES) legal provisions apply to general air traffic (GAT) and do not cover operational air traffic (OAT) or military operations. However, the arrangements between civil and military entities may impact air navigation charges when resources are shared. This study aimed to increase the transparency of ANS cost bases and provide insights into civil-military arrangements and cost allocation methods. It also evaluated the impact of shared resources and exemptions for military flights on en route costs.

The report identifies three generic models for organising civil-military ANS provision: integrated, co-located, and separated. The majority of air navigation service providers (ANSPs) have integrated civil-military service provision arrangements. They provide services to military non-GAT flights ranging from the full spectrum of ANS to simple data exchange. While the overall impact of shared resources and exempted GAT military flights on EU-wide en route costs are limited, some Member States experience more significant local impacts. The PRB recommends more detailing financial information in performance plans and monitoring reports for transparency and compliance verification purposes.

Next steps

The reports’ findings and recommendations will serve as insights when the performance plan template for the upcoming Fourth Reference Period (RP4) of the SES performance and charging scheme is refined and updated. Knowing the areas for improvement will be instrumental when developing templates that align with the needs of RP4.

Background

The Performance Review Body comprises nine high-level independent aviation experts from European states. The PRB is chaired by Cathy Mannion.

The PRB assists the European Commission in regulating and incentivising the performance of monopoly air navigation service providers designated by the Member States. It provides independent advice and expertise to improve the performance of air navigation in Europe in safety, capacity, environment, and cost-efficiency.

The Single European Sky’s performance and charging scheme is the regulatory instrument through which the Commission drives the performance of air navigation services in cooperation with Member States, national supervisory authorities, and operational stakeholders.

Related documents

See also

SES Performance and charging

Details

Publication date
14 December 2023
Author
Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport