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Single European Sky

At present (2001) air traffic management in the European Union is undertaken by member states, co-operating through EUROCONTROL an intergovernmental organisation that includes both the EU member states and most other European states as well.

European air space is some of the busiest on the planet, and the current system of air traffic management suffers from several problems, which threaten the future of the airline industry. These include inefficient air traffic control boundaries which follow national borders, and large areas of European airspace reserved for military use, often without any real need for this reservation.

In October 2001, the European Commission adopted proposals for a Single European Sky, to create a Community regulator for air traffic management within the EU, Norway and Switzerland. The Community regulator will merge upper European airspace, currently divided into national regions. It will organise this airspace uniformly, with air traffic control areas based on operational efficency, not national borders. It will integrate civil and military air traffic management.

See Single European Sky - European Commission website (http://europa.eu.int/comm/transport/themes/air/english/single_eur_sky_en)

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