News Item

Ash crisis to speed up 'Single European Sky'

Holding European Presidency, Spain has called a meeting of Transport Ministers to give impetus to the 'Single European Sky'.

Their Minister of Public Works has announced that the Spanish Presidency of the EU has called an extraordinary meeting of the Transport Council for 4 May - with the backing of the Commission.

Spain wants to see a 'Single European Sky' in the wake of the recent ATC crisis caused by the Icelandic volcanic cloud.

The aim of the meeting is 'to promote joint reflection on improving European response mechanisms which allow us to react to crisis situations in a quicker and more coordinated way'.

The Minister has asked the Commission to draw up a report for the 4 May meeting which includes 3 fundamental initiatives:
- The possibility of speeding up the process of introducing a 'Single European Sky' and, in particular, establishing Eurocontrol as the managing body of the integrated European network.
- The need to review the current emergency response procedures.
- Drawing up an emergency mobility plan which appropriately takes into account citizens' rights and safety.

It seems that current protocols - dating from the 1980s - need to be reviewed, with research needed to establish new criteria to anticipate future crises.

The Minister did, however, stress that there had been complete cooperation during the immediate past crisis between colleagues in the 27 Member States and the Commission.

Details from the EU website below . .

  • 24 April 2010
  • CMAG

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