The virtues of a Single European Sky (SES) have been acknowledged by all major stakeholders for a long time. It would reduce delays, increase safety, reduce the environmental impact of aviation and the costs for airlines related to air navigation service provision.
In practice this common understanding has however not led to a significant advancement of the SES. In fact, in spite of several attempts to push forward the necessary reforms in Air Traffic Management, the SES seems to be in gridlock. However with traffic volumes predicted to further increase the challenge to integrate the European Sky remains nonetheless acute – as it would be impossible to achieve the necessary capacity increases without raising the efficiency of Air Traffic Control (ATC). Different ways to achieve further steps towards a Single European Sky in spite of the political gridlock are therefore urgently needed.
From an academic point of view, there are basically two possible approaches to coordination: markets and hierarchies. In order to advance the SES an alternative to an ever stricter regulation of the monopolies in ATC would be the introduction of market elements. Eurocontrol and others have proposed to gradually open up markets for certain ATC services. This, in turn, will contribute to evolving the role of Eurocontrol and re-shaping of the current structure of ATC.
This 5th Florence Air Forum will be centred on such possible market elements and the subsequent evolution of the role of Eurocontrol. Following the usual format of the Florence School of Regulation, the 5th Florence Air Forum aims at offering a platform to senior stakeholders from regulators, politics, operators, ANSPs, air carriers, airports, authorities, associations to discuss with prominent academics and to take stock of topics relevant to aviation regulation and policies.
Frank Brenner , Director General of EUROCONTROL, already confirmed his participation as well as Matthew Baldwin , Director Aviation and International Transport Affairs at DG MOVE (European Commission). Stakeholders will be challenged by prominent scholars, such as prof.Kenneth Button (George Mason University) and Hans – Martin Niemeier (University of Applied Sciences, Bremen).
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