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EU Aviation Strategy

Latest update 14 June 2019


Please see the download section on the top right hand corner of this page to read the overview of this section and scroll down the page to read the latest updates on ERA's activities and position.


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ERA believes that the Strategy will not increase the long-term competitiveness of the industry compared to other methods of transport and non-European competitors. However, ERA is ready to work with the European Commission, Council and Parliament to ensure that the direction is modified to deliver on its original intent - a stronger, fitter and more efficient air transport system. Many of the actions proposed in the EC’s Strategy are short term, have no distinct timelines for achievement and do not provide a strong and clear action plan in order to strengthen Europe’s aviation industry.

Despite identifying most of the key subjects (infrastructure development, investment needs, importance of connectivity, tackling monopoly service providers, and improved safety) and talking in positive terms about aviation, the strategy is weak on definitive actions. For example, the issue of the looming airport capacity shortage at hubs is mentioned, but no tangible remedies to this problem are proposed.


Latest update 14/06/2019: ERA was invited by the European Commission to provide comments and concerns regarding the main issues affecting our members in the airline transport sector, and how these could be dealt with by the next Commission and beyond. After consulting with membership, ERA have prepared a list of priorities which was provided to DG-MOVE. The document is available at the Downloads section of this page.

On 8 June 2017, the EC released a package of four documents in support of its EU Aviation Strategy initiative of 2015 collectively called an open and connected aviation package. The initiative includes a set of measures to ensure the EU’s aviation sector competes effectively on a global level.

The EC’s open and connected package includes four documents:

  1. A legislative proposal for a Regulation on safeguarding competition in air transport (
  2. Interpretative guidelines on ownership and control of EU airlines (
  3. Interpretative guidelines on public services obligations (
  4. Practices facilitating continuity of air traffic management (

These documents are available via the above links and the EC’s press release launching the package can be found here: (

Of particular interest for ERA members are Public Service Obligation and Ownership and Control interpretive guidelines on the application of EU Regulation 1008/2008.

Interpretative guidelines on Public Service Obligations (PSOs)

As a solution to address connectivity gaps, the PSO guidelines outline the mechanism followed by the EC when assessing a PSO and are designed to assist member states in effectively adhering to and effectively implement PSO rules. Clarity and effectiveness will be reviewed in a next step to ensure these rules are fit for purpose. ERA had been calling for the more widespread use of PSOs as well as consistent application across member states so these guidelines are a welcome addition.

Ownership and Control

For the benefit of investors and airlines and in the interest of legal clarity, the EC has issued interpretive guidelines on the Ownership and Control of EU airlines as stated in regulation 1008/2008.

These guidelines detail the methodology followed by the EC when assessing Ownership and Control requirements in keeping with regulation 1008/2008, which is of particular relevance to foreign investment instances.

The Ownership and Control requirements to meet 1008/2008 regulations will be reviewed in a next step, and will if needed be adapted in keeping with a fast changing aviation sector.

ERA’s position has consistently been that the rules should be general liberalised and this first step and giving more clarity to the rules is also welcomed.

ERA is analysing both sets of guidelines and will report any pertinent issues to members. In the interim, members operating PSOs routes in particular or wising to operate PSO routes are encouraged to review the guidance.

ERA has produced a new lobbying document entitled 'Building a Strong & Healthy Regional Air Transport System in Europe' with detailed comments on the Commission’s Strategy. The document, which can be downloaded on ERA’s website, is aimed at affording our objective to build a strong and healthy regional air transport system in Europe. We hope our contribution will assist both the EU and national Institutions as they move to the implementation phase of the Strategy.

ERA members are encouraged to use this new publication as a lobbying tool in their dialogue with their own national regulators and media, in an effort to help key decision makers build a strong and healthy regional air transport system in Europe.

ERA is pleased to announce that its application to the Commission expert group ‘Consultative Forum on EU external aviation policy’ has been accepted and ERA has been selected to be a member.
The first meeting is tentatively scheduled for the middle of October, with progress reports to follow. This is an opportunity for ERA members engagement, therefore should you have any queries, do not hesitate to contact ERA.