EU to streamline airspace management, reduce emissions


The European Commission put forward a proposal Tuesday to streamline the management of the European airspace to reduce disruptions, delays and emissions of flights.

The proposed plan, by updating the Single European Sky initiative, would establish more sustainable and efficient flight paths and could therefore cut off 10 percent of CO2 emissions, according to a press release from the commission.

Solutions put forward are the creation of a data services market that will make air traffic management more efficient, finding new solutions through better coordination of experts and innovators, simplifying air traffic rules, and improving the way the European airspace network works.

Flight delays in the European airspace are not only costly but also generating more CO2, said European Commissioner for Transport Adina Valean.

Delays are caused mainly by poorly managed air routes, with “planes zigzagging between different blocks of airspace” instead of going straight from one airport to the other, said Valean.

In 2019, a year in which the skies were overcrowded, delays cost six billion euros (7 billion U.S. dollars) and generated an extra 11.6 million tonnes of CO2, according to the commission.

The proposal is now being examined by the Council of the EU and the European Parliament. The European Commission’s Green Deal aims at cutting CO2 emissions by 90 percent for transports by 2050.

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