German airspace costs angers airlines

PLANS by the German air navigation service to radically increase overflight costs has angered airlines.
Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS) wants to increase user charges by €300 million a year from 2015, a move which has been branded as ‘unacceptable’ by the Association of European Airlines (AEA).
The reason given for the increase is the expected levels of pension payments for DFS staff.
Airlines say the move would not only make Germany the most expensive airspace in Europe, but will also impede the establishment of the Single European Skies (SES) project.
“The European airline community has expressed its deep outrage about this massive cost increase, which blatantly contradicts the recent commitment to lower costs made by Germany and the other EU member states in the context of the Single European Sky (SES) framework,” says a statement from the association.
“The impact on European airlines will be huge, as Germany is one of the cornerstones of the Functional Airspace Block Central Europe, which handles 55 per cent of all European air traffic.”
Athar Husain Khan, chief executive of AEA, states: “We urge the German government, as the owner of DFS, to take all necessary measures to avoid an exorbitant increase in charges to the detriment of all airspace users and to the competitiveness of the air transport market in core Europe.”
Failure to implement SES in Europe will cost airlines and the overall European economy €5bn and will generate around 8.1 million tonnes of unnecessary CO2 emissions per year and adversely affects European airlines’ ability to grow and invest, the statement adds.
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