ETF Statement on SES2+

25 Jun 2013

The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), representing the majority of ATCOs (Air Traffic Control Officers) and of ATM (Air Traffic Management) workers in Europe, made a broad analysis of the new European Commission (EC) proposal called “SES2+” adopted on 11 June 2013. The content of this draft Regulation confirms the threats identified by the ETF in the last months. It is even worse than expected. That is why the ETF affiliates decided to fully reject this SES2+ (Single European Sky) package. The proposal has only negative effects on jobs and working conditions.

ETF fully rejects the anti-social EC proposal which dogmatically introduces liberalisation and competition in the ATM sector.

The ETF supports the improvement and the modernisation of the ATM system but denounces the EC’s attempt to introduce liberalisation and competition in the ATM sector by means of their proposal on the SES implementation. The EC puts safety in the European sky only as a second priority, in favour of the economic aspects. At the same time the proposal directly attacks workers by having only negative effects on the number and quality of jobs, and this is unacceptable for the ETF.

The will of the EC to impose mandatory unbundling to support services is completely dogmatic and unjustified. The EC is ignoring the important role these services play in guaranteeing a safe flow of air traffic in the European sky. The current proposal on SES2+ will create more fragmentation, break up the safety chain, modify the business model of many ANSPs (Air Navigation Service Providers) by introducing market principles, jeopardize the investments made and have negative social consequences for workers.

By imposing unnecessary changes, the EC proposal will introduce additional difficulties, e.g. altering the link between supervisory and service provision levels, amending the EU target setting process, reducing the control of all the Member States or forcing to involve the users in ANSP internal decision-making bodies.

The ETF cannot accept a unique model for FAB (Functional Airspace Block) establishment based on consolidation and integration of service provision, which will reduce the number of ANSPs and control centres, the State authority and sovereignty and again the number of jobs.

The introduction of this 3rd legislative package, less than four years after the adoption of the previous one, and without any serious consultation of social partners, stakeholders and Member States is a negative signal sent to the entire ATM industry and all the Member States. The ATM sector needs stability and predictability and not a legal framework subject to continuous and hysterical changes mainly driven by the economic needs of the airline companies. This proposal will have a negative impact on ATM sector, putting ANSPs in economic difficulties and instability.

If the EU Institutions carry on supporting this proposal, the EU will definitively lose the support of ATM workers to the whole SES process. This loss of confidence to the EC policy on ATM was demonstrated at the ETF Action Day on 12 June 2013 in which ATM workers deployed protest actions in 11 European countries. The Action Day was only a first step. After a thoroughly analysis of the EC proposal, the ETF sees the need for additional actions.

The publicly expressed opposition of the French and German Governments to SES2+ is a strong signal that consolidates and supports the ETF position. However, the ETF wants to continue with the SES2 package, which is absolutely essential to improve efficiency, to decrease delays, to make air travel cheaper and to harmonise the European ATM system in order to become a Single European Sky.

For more information, please contact ETF Political Secretary François Ballestero: – Tel: +32 474 916 979