Tag Archives: Air transport

Competition in transport

Competition in transport

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Competition in transport

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Competition > Rules applicable to specific sectors > Competition in transport

Competition in transport

Competition within the transport industry enables citizens to benefit from efficient and cheaper transport. Free competition also acts as a driving force to open up European networks and therefore gives investments and the network a continental dimension. In this context, the European Union is focusing on regulating this competition through legislation applicable to each mode of transport and a framework for State aid.

ANTITRUST LEGISLATION

Transport by rail, road and inland waterway

  • Competition in transport by rail, road and inland waterway

Maritime transport

  • Freedom to provide maritime transport services
  • Freedom to supply services, competition, unfair pricing practices and free access to ocean trade
  • Exemption for certain agreements between liner shipping companies (“consortia”)

Air transport

  • Exemption of certain air transport agreements from EU competition rules
  • Exemptions from consultations on passenger tariffs and slot allocation at airports

STATE AID LEGISLATION

Transport by rail, road and inland waterway

  • Public passenger transport service by rail and road

Maritime transport

  • Community approach to State aid for transport by sea
  • State aid to shipbuilding (I)
  • State aid to shipbuilding (II)

Air transport

  • Guidelines on State aid for developing regional airports

Exemption of certain air transport agreements from EU competition rules

Exemption of certain air transport agreements from EU competition rules

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Exemption of certain air transport agreements from EU competition rules

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Competition > Rules applicable to specific sectors > Competition in transport

Exemption of certain air transport agreements from EU competition rules

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 487/2009 of 25 May 2009 on the application of Article 81(3) of the Treaty to certain categories of agreements and concerted practices in the air transport sector.

Summary

In accordance with Article 101(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) (ex-Article 81(3) of the Treaty Establishing the European Community (TEC)), the Commission may adopt a regulation declaring that certain agreements, decisions and concerted practices are exempt from the prohibition in Article 101(1) TFEU (ex-Article 81(1) TEC).

The Commission may, in particular, adopt such a block exemption regulation in relation to agreements, decisions or concerted practices which concern any of the following:

  • joint planning and coordination of airline schedules;
  • consultations on tariffs for the carriage of passengers and baggage and of freight on scheduled air services;
  • joint operations on new less busy scheduled air services;
  • slot allocation at airports and airport scheduling;
  • common purchase, development and operation of computer reservation systems relating to timetabling, reservations and ticketing by air transport undertakings.

Where circumstances have changed concerning any of the factors which prompted its adoption, it may be repealed or amended. In this case there shall be a transitional period for amendment of the agreements and concerted practices to which the earlier regulation applied before repeal or amendment.

Any such block exemption regulation is adopted for a specified period and will apply retroactively to agreements, decisions and concerted practices which were in existence on the date that the regulation entered into force.

Before adopting such a block exemption regulation, the Commission must publish a draft of the proposed regulation and invite all persons and organisations concerned to submit their comments within a reasonable deadline. The Commission must consult the Advisory Committee on Restrictive Practices and Dominant Positions in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1/2003, once before publishing a draft regulation, and again after the public consultation before adopting the regulation.

This regulation repeals Regulation (EEC) No 3976/87.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 487/2009

1.7.2009

OJ L 148 of 11.6.2009

Aviation and climate change

Aviation and climate change

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Aviation and climate change

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Air pollution

Aviation and climate change

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 27 September 2005: “Reducing the Climate Change Impact of Aviation” [COM(2005) 459 – not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The European Union (EU) is responsible for about half of the CO2 emissions generated by international air transport in developed countries. Air transport emissions are likely to increase rapidly in the future if there is no policy response in this area. This situation could compromise European objectives for combating climate change.

In this Communication, the Commission looks at new and existing means and instruments for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the air transport sector.

Tapping the potential of existing policies

The Commission proposes continuing and extending research in aeronautics, particularly under the Seventh Framework Programme for Research. Research will focus on analysing the impact the air transport sector has on climate change and reducing the adverse effects of air transport, in particular CO2 and NOx emissions.

The Commission also suggests improving air traffic management, particularly by implementing the ” Single European Sky ” and SESAME initiatives. More efficient air traffic management should, among other things, enable aviation fuel consumption to be reduced.

Furthermore, in the area of fuel taxation, the Commission takes the view that Member States should eventually remove the exemption traditionally applied to the aviation sector. It is common practice for aviation fuel to be exempted from taxes. Directive 2003/96/EC allows for a fuel tax to be levied on domestic flights within Member States, but it is often impossible to tax fuel for international flights (including between Member States), because of the legally binding commitments made in air service agreements concluded between Member States and third countries. A large number of air service agreements will have to be renegotiated before fuel can be taxed irrespective of the air carrier’s country of origin. The process is under way, but will take time to complete. This option can therefore only be seen as a long-term solution.

The Commission also suggests improving the competitiveness of other transport sectors and raising public awareness of the impact air travel has on climate change.

Developing cost-effective economic instruments: emissions trading

In the Commission’s opinion, of the various economic instruments looked at, the most effective option is to include the air transport sector in the greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme which the EU set up in 2003 (see “Related Acts” below).

The system is based on the following principle: the regulatory authority sets a quantity limit on polluting emissions and divides this quantity among the economic operators producing these emissions, in this case the airlines. The limited pollution rights available give the operators an incentive to reduce their emissions or buy emission rights from other participants if they exceed their allotted limit.

The desired result is a significant reduction in polluting emissions. The large number of participants would also minimise the costs for the economic operators. Furthermore, the system is compatible with the international legal framework for aviation, and could therefore feasibly be extended to operate at international level, if adapted appropriately.

Certain aspects of this instrument remain to be clarified:

  • its scope: in order for the system to be effective in environmental terms, the best option would be for all flights departing from Community airports to be included;
  • how to adapt the existing Community system, which is linked to the accounting system set up by the Kyoto Protocol (covering CO2 emissions produced by domestic flights but not those produced by international flights);
  • how to take other environmental factors (particularly NOx emissions) into account if the system applies only to CO2 emissions.

As part of the European Climate Change Programme, the Commission intends to set up a special working group of experts from Member States and key stakeholder organisations (industry, consumer and environmental organisations). Its purpose will be to look at ways of integrating air transport effectively and efficiently into the European greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme.

The Commission also considered other economic options (a tax on airline tickets and other charges linked to emissions), but these were rejected for a number of reasons, as stated in the impact assessment attached to the Communication.

The European Union and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions

In spring 2005, on the basis of the Communication entitled Winning the Battle Against Global Climate Change, the European Parliament and the European Council reaffirmed the EU’s objective of ensuring that global surface temperatures do not rise more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and therefore of cutting greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible.

As part of the Sixth Community Environment Action Programme, the EU undertook to take specific action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from aviation if no such action was agreed within the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the organisation responsible, by 2002. The ICAO has not adopted any such measures, but has endorsed the concept of emissions trading.

The air transport sector currently accounts for 3% of all greenhouse gas emissions. However, the rapid growth of this sector means that aviation could eventually become the main source of greenhouse gas emissions, despite improvements in aircraft energy efficiency. Between 1990 and 2003, greenhouse gas emissions from international air transport increased by 73% in the EU. If the sector continues to grow at the current rate, by 2012 emissions will have increased by 150% since 1990.

Related Acts

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 amending Directive 2003/87/EC so as to include aviation activities in the scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community [COM(2006) 818 final – not published in the Official Journal].
This proposal is designed to include aviation activities in the greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme, and is to apply to all flights arriving at or departing from Community airports from 1 January 2012 (2011 for flights between EU airports). Aircraft operators will be responsible for complying with the obligations imposed by the scheme. It is also suggested that the process for allocating allowances should be harmonised across the EU, and that each aircraft operator, including operators from third countries, should be administered by one Member State only.


Directive 2003/87/EC

of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 October 2003 establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community and amending Council Directive 96/61/EC [Official Journal L 275 of 25 October 2003].


Council Decision 2002/358/EC

of 25 April 2002 concerning the approval, on behalf of the European Community, of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the joint fulfilment of commitments thereunder [Official Journal L 130 of 15 May 2002].

Impact assessment

Commission Staff Working Document of 27 September 2005 – Annex to the Communication from the Commission “Reducing the Climate Change Impact of Aviation” – Impact Assessment [SEC(2005) 1184].

Framework for creation of the Single European Sky

Framework for creation of the Single European Sky

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Framework for creation of the Single European Sky

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Tackling climate change

Framework for creation of the Single European Sky (SES)

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 549/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2004 laying down the framework for the creation of the Single European Sky (‘Framework Regulation’) — Statement by the Member States on military issues related to the Single European Sky [See amending act(s)].

Summary

This regulation forms part of a package of legislation on air traffic management designed to create a single European sky by 31 December 2004. The objective of the single European sky is to ensure an optimum use of European airspace to meet the requirements of all airspace users.

The ‘Single European Sky’ package consists of this framework regulation plus three technical regulations on the provision of air navigation services, organisation and use of the airspace and the interoperability of the European air traffic management network. These regulations are designed, in particular, to improve and reinforce safety and to restructure the airspace on the basis of traffic instead of national frontiers.

The objective of this regulation is to enhance current safety standards and overall efficiency for general air traffic in Europe, to optimise capacity meeting the requirements of all airspace users and to minimise delays.

National supervisory authorities

EU countries must, jointly or individually, nominate or establish one or more bodies as their national supervisory authorities to perform the tasks assigned to such authorities. These authorities must be independent of air navigation service providers.

Single Sky Committee

A Single Sky Committee is established on the entry into force of this regulation to assist the Commission with management of the Single European Sky and make sure that due account is taken of the interests of all categories of users. It consists of two representatives of each EU country and is chaired by a representative of the Commission.

Military issues

The EU countries adopted a general statement on military issues related to the Single European Sky. According to this, they will enhance civil/military cooperation to the extent deemed necessary by all EU countries concerned.

Industry consultation body

The industry consultation body advises the Commission on the implementation of the Single European Sky.

It is made up of representatives of air navigation service providers, associations of airspace users, airport operators, the aviation manufacturing industry and professional staff representative bodies.

Implementing rules

Eurocontrol is involved in the development of implementing rules which fall within its remit, on the basis of mandates agreed by the Single Sky Committee.

Performance review

The establishment of a performance scheme aims to improve the performance of air navigation services and network functions in the single European sky. It will consist of:

  • European-wide performance targets in the key areas of safety, environment, capacity and cost-efficiency;
  • national plans including performance targets to ensure consistency with the European-wide performance targets;
  • periodic review and monitoring of the performance of air navigation services and network functions.

Safeguards

Finally, this regulation does not prevent EU countries from applying measures needed to safeguard essential security or defence policy interests.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 549/2004

20.4.2004

OJ L 96 of 31.3.2004

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1070/2009

4.12.2009

OJ L 300 of 14.11.2009

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EU) No 255/2010 of 25 March 2010 laying down common rules on air traffic flow management [Official Journal L 80 of 26.3.2010].

Commission Regulation (EU) No 73/2010 of 26 January 2010 laying down requirements on the quality of aeronautical data and aeronautical information for the single European sky [Official Journal L 23 of 27.1.2010].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 262/2009 of 30 March 2009 laying down requirements for the coordinated allocation and use of Mode S interrogator codes for the single European sky [Official Journal L 84 of 31.3.2009].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 29/2009 of 16 January 2009 laying down requirements on data link services for the single European sky [Official Journal L 13 of 17.1.2009].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 482/2008 of 30 May 2008 establishing a software safety assurance system to be implemented by air navigation service providers and amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) N° 2096/2005 [Official Journal L 141 of 31.5.2008].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1315/2007 of 8 November 2007 on safety oversight in air traffic management and amending Regulation (EC) N° 2096/2005 [Official Journal L 291 of 9.11.2007].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1265/2007 of 26 October 2007 laying down requirements on air-ground voice channel spacing for the single European sky [Official Journal L 283 of 27.10.2007].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 633/2007 of 7 June 2007 laying down requirements for the application of a flight message transfer protocol used for the purpose of notification, coordination and transfer of flights between air traffic control units

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1794/2006 of 6 December 2006 laying down a common charging scheme for air navigation services [Official Journal L 341 of 7.12.2006].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1032/2006 of 6 July 2006 laying down requirements for automatic systems for the exchange of flight data for the purpose of notification, coordination and transfer of flights between air traffic control units [Official Journal L 186 of 7.7.2006].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1033/2006 of 4 July 2006 laying down the requirements on procedures for flight plans in the pre-flight phase for the single European sky [Official Journal L 186 of 7.7.2006].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 730/2006 of 11 May 2006 on airspace classification and access of flights operated under visual flight rules above flight level 195

Commission Regulation (EC) No 2150/2005 of 23 December 2005 laying down common rules for the flexible use of airspace [Official Journal L 342 of 24.12.2005].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 2096/2005 of 20 December 2005 laying down common requirements for the provision of air navigation services [Official Journal L 335 of 21.12.2005].

Informing passengers of the carrier's identity and the blacklist of high-risk companies

Informing passengers of the carrier’s identity and the blacklist of high-risk companies

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Informing passengers of the carrier’s identity and the blacklist of high-risk companies

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Transport > Mobility and passenger rights

Informing passengers of the carrier’s identity and the blacklist of high-risk companies

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 2111/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 December 2005 on the establishment of a Community list of air carriers subject to an operating ban within the Community and on informing air transport passengers of the identity of the operating air carrier, and repealing Article 9 of Directive 2004/36/EC [See amending act(s)].

Summary

This new Regulation is designed to give passengers the right to be informed of the identity of the carrier operating the flight they have booked, while at the same time reinforcing the obligation on European Union (EU) countries to pass on safety-related information. Companies considered to be unsafe will find their aircraft banned from flying and will have their names published on a universally accessible blacklist. This list will be published both on the Internet and in the Official Journal.

These provisions apply to flights:

  • departing from an airport in the territory of an EU country to which the Treaty applies;
  • departing from an airport in a third country and arriving at an airport in the territory of an EU country, provided that the contracting carrier is based in the EU;
  • departing from an airport in a third country, where the flight is part of a contract of carriage entered into in the EU, and provided that the journey started in the EU.

A blacklist of unsafe airlines

The Annex sets out common criteria for considering an EU-wide operating ban for safety reasons. Air carriers will be included on the blacklist on the basis of the following criteria:

  • evidence of serious safety deficiencies on the part of a carrier;
  • a lack of ability (or willingness) on the part of a carrier to address safety deficiencies (lack of transparency or insufficient action);
  • a lack of ability (or willingness) on the part of the authorities responsible for overseeing a carrier to address safety deficiencies (lack of cooperation, insufficient ability, etc.).

EU countries publish a list of all air carriers banned from their airspace or subject to traffic rights restrictions for safety reasons. This list is made available to other EU countries and to the Commission. The Commission publishes a consolidated list of these air carriers. Furthermore, at least once every three months, the Commission must assess whether the blacklist needs to be updated to include or exclude certain carriers. To update the list, both the EU country concerned and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) must notify the Commission of all the relevant information.

Passengers’ rights to information and reimbursement

To enable airline passengers to be better informed about the operating carrier when choosing a flight, passengers must be able to know which carrier will be operating the flight when they make the booking. The contracting carrier is required to inform passengers of the identity of the operating air carrier or carriers when making a reservation, whatever the means used to make the booking. The passenger must also be kept informed of any change of operating carrier, either at check-in or, at the latest, when boarding.

The Regulation also gives passengers the right to reimbursement or re-routing if a carrier with which a booking has been made is subsequently added to the blacklist, resulting in cancellation of the flight concerned.

Background

Safety oversight is regulated worldwide within the framework of the 1944 Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation and is based on standards developed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Under the Convention, air carriers, and in particular their compliance with safety requirements, must be supervised by their home country.

At European level, safety procedures are based on EU legislation and specifically on the European Aviation Safety Agency.

However, outside the EU, safety levels depend on the effectiveness of oversight procedures applicable in third countries. In this context, Directive 2004/36/EC ensures a high level of aviation safety for aircraft flying into, out of or within the EU by providing for a harmonised inspection system for third-country aircraft using European airports.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 2111/2005

16.1.2006

OJ L 344 of 27.12.2005

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 596/2009

9.9.2010

OJ L 237 of 8.9.2010

Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 2111/2005 have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference purposes only.

Related Acts

Blacklist of high-risk companies.

Commission Regulation (EC) No 474/2006 of 22 March 2006 establishing the Community list of air carriers which are subject to an operating ban within the Community referred to in Chapter II of Regulation (EC) No 2111/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council [Official Journal L 84 of 23.3.2006].

Rights of people with reduced mobility in air transport

Rights of people with reduced mobility in air transport

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Rights of people with reduced mobility in air transport

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Transport > Mobility and passenger rights

Rights of people with reduced mobility in air transport

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 of the Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air.

Summary

The regulation on the rights of persons with reduced mobility when using air transport prohibits operators from refusing reservation or boarding to persons because of their reduced mobility or disability *.

There are certain exceptions and derogations, however, particularly for justified safety reasons established by law. An air carrier may refuse to accept a reservation from or to embark a person with reduced mobility or request that a travelling person with reduced mobility or disability must be accompanied by another person, in order to meet applicable safety requirements duly established by law or if the size of the aircraft makes it physically impossible to embark that person.

Within five working days of refusing a reservation or embarkation or requiring a person with reduced mobility or disability to be accompanied, the air carrier must inform in writing the person concerned of its reasons for doing so.

Persons with reduced mobility or disability are entitled to receive the assistance specified in the regulation free of charge in airports (on departure, arrival and during transit) and on board aircrafts (for example, the transport of wheelchairs and the carriage of guide dogs for the blind).

The managing bodies of airports should provide this assistance and may fund the services by levying a specific charge on airlines.

European Union (EU) countries and other concerned countries (European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries) will be required to lay down penalties for infringements and to set up independent bodies to deal with complaints.

The Commission must report to the European Parliament and the Council by 1 January 2010 at the latest on the implementation and effects of the regulation.

Key terms used in the act
  • “Disabled person” or “person with reduced mobility”: any person whose mobility when using transport is reduced due to any physical disability (sensory or locomotor, permanent or temporary), intellectual disability or impairment, or any other cause of disability, or age, and whose situation needs appropriate attention and the adaptation to his or her particular needs of the service made available to all passengers.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006

15.8.2006

26.7.2008

(Articles 3 and 4: 26.7.2007)

OJ L 204, 26.7.2006

Related Acts

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the functioning and effects of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air [COM(2011) 166 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The report concluded that Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 has brought advantages to disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility (PRM); in particular a single framework of protection, a clear division of tasks between airports and air carriers, and the establishment of a network of National Enforcement Bodies (NEB) in all EU countries.
The Commission did, however, find some difficulties in applying the regulation which might weaken its impact. These problem areas include:

  • a sometimes insufficient quality of service provided and inadequate adaption to PRM’s individual needs;
  • insufficient information provided to passengers;
  • fragile and expensive handling mobility equipment;
  • restrictions on accepting reservations from or embarking PRMs on the grounds of safety;
  • insufficient in-flight assistance by the air carriers, in particular in moving to toilet facilities;
  • conflicting interpretations of the definition of mobility equipment that must be carried free of charge by the air carriers;
  • disparities in the implementation of the regulation between EU countries;
  • disagreements over the amount of and the method of calculating and imposing charges;
  • difficulty in interpreting certain important definitions, such as whether pregnant women, overweight people or young children are included in the definition of persons with reduced mobility;
  • transporting and supplying medical oxygen.

As the initial assessment finds that the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 is overall positive, a legislative review is not necessary at this stage. The Commission does, however, propose a number of axes of improvement within the existing framework, including:

  • a uniform interpretation of the regulation;
  • improving how the regulatory instruments work in practice;
  • strengthening the efficacy of the penalities and their supervision by national authorities;
  • handling the issue of the transport and supply of medical oxygen.

Communication from the Commission of 7 August 2008 on the scope of the liability of air carriers and airports in the event of destroyed, damaged or lost mobility equipment of passengers with reduced mobility when travelling by air [COM(2008) 510 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Based on the “Study on the compensation thresholds for damaged or lost equipment and devices belonging to air passengers with reduced mobility” launched by the Commission, this communication presents the current challenges faced by persons with reduced mobility when their mobility equipment is lost or damaged, as well as the solutions provided by Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006.
In terms of quantitative objectives, the aim is to reduce the number of incidents regarding mobility equipment. To this end, the regulation establishes the legal obligation for airlines and airports to design procedures for and train staff on the assistance of people with reduced mobility. As a qualitative objective, the aim is to minimise the consequences of an incident. In this regard, there is:

  • a lack of common procedures that would lead to an immediate solution, which is covered in part by the regulation;
  • disparity in the nature and limits of the liability between airlines and airports, to whom an obligation of compensation that conforms to international, EU and national law is bestowed by the regulation;
  • the problem of inadequate compensations and procedures; however, the regulation should diminish the amount of incidents and their consequences, which are currently already rather minimal;
  • a question on the definition of “baggage” and the role of mobility equipment thereof, for which the Commission aims to launch discussions within the ICAO, so that mobility equipment is either excluded from the definition or the liability limits imposed on “baggage” by international conventions are amended in view of levelling out compensations on destroyed, damaged or lost mobility equipment with the actual value of that equipment.

Following the future assessment of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006, if enough progress has not been achieved, the Commission will propose improvements to the current legislative framework regarding the rights of persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air.

Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 295/91 [Official Journal L 46 of 17.02.2004].

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council: “Protection of air passengers in the European Union” [COM(2000) 365 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Denied-boarding compensation system

Denied-boarding compensation system

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Denied-boarding compensation system

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Transport > Mobility and passenger rights

Denied-boarding compensation system

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 295/91.

Summary

This Regulation applies to:

  • passengers departing from an airport located in the territory of a Member State to which the EC Treaty applies; and
  • passengers departing from an airport located in a third country to an airport situated in the territory of a Member State to which the EC Treaty applies,

On condition that the passengers have a confirmed reservation on the flight concerned and, except in the case of cancellation, present themselves for check-in at the time indicated in advance or, if no time is indicated, not later than 45 minutes before the published departure time.

This Regulation establishes passengers’ rights if:

  • they are denied boarding against their will;
  • their flight is cancelled;
  • their flight is delayed.

This Regulation does not apply to passengers travelling free of charge or at a reduced fare not available directly or indirectly to the public.

Denied boarding

When an air carrier reasonably expects to deny boarding on a flight, it first calls for volunteers to surrender their reservations in exchange for certain benefits. If an insufficient number of volunteers come forward to allow the remaining passengers to board the flight, the air carrier may then deny boarding to passengers against their will, in which case it must compensate them.

Air carriers give priority to persons with reduced mobility and any persons accompanying them.

In the event of flight cancellation or denied boarding, the passengers concerned have the right to:

  • reimbursement of the cost of the ticket within seven days or a return flight to the first point of departure or re-routing to their final destination;
  • care (refreshments, meals, hotel accommodation, transport between the airport and place of accommodation, two free telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails);
  • compensation totalling:
    – EUR 250 for all flights of 1500 kilometres or less;
    – EUR 400 for all intra-Community flights of more than 1500 kilometres, and for all other flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometres;
    – EUR 600 for all other flights.

Delays

The Regulation introduces a three-tier system:

  • in the event of long delays (two hours or more, depending on the distance of the flight), passengers must in every case be offered free meals and refreshments plus two free telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails;
  • if the time of departure is deferred until the next day, passengers must also be offered hotel accommodation and transport between the airport and the place of accommodation;
  • when the delay is five hours or longer, passengers may opt for reimbursement of the full cost of the ticket together with, when relevant, a return flight to the first point of departure.

Upgrading and downgrading

If an air carrier places a passenger in a class lower than that for which the ticket was purchased, the passenger must be reimbursed within seven days, as follows:

  • 30% of the price of the ticket for all flights of 1500 kilometres or less;
  • 50% of the price of the ticket for all intra-Community flights of more than 1500 kilometres, except flights between the Member States and the French overseas departments, and for all other flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometres;
  • 75% of the price of the ticket for all other flights, including flights between the Member States and the French overseas departments.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 [adoption: codecision procedure COD/2001/305] 17.2.2005 OJ L 46 of 17.2.2004

 

Computerised reservation systems

Computerised reservation systems

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Computerised reservation systems

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Transport > Mobility and passenger rights

Computerised reservation systems

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 80/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 January 2009 on a Code of Conduct for computerised reservation systems and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 2299/89.

Summary

This Regulation aims to establish a harmonised code of conduct regarding the use of computerised reservation systems in order to ensure fair competition and to protect consumers’ rights.

Scope

This Regulation shall apply to:?

  • any computerised reservation system (CRS) * used or offered for use in the Community for air transport services;
  • rail-transport products * used or offered for use in the Community and which are incorporated alongside air-transport products into the principal display of a CRS.

RULES OF CONDUCT FOR SYSTEM VENDORS

Relationship with transport providers

A system vendor * may not:

  • impose unfair or discriminatory conditions in contracts concluded with participating carriers or their subscribers;
  • prevent a participating carrier from using other reservation systems.

Distribution facilities

All system vendors shall apply the same treatment to all participating carriers with regard to distributing their transport products and shall inform them of changes to their distribution facilities or loading procedures. Furthermore, a system vendor shall ensure that its distribution facilities * are clearly separated from the management and marketing facilities of participating carriers.

Displays

The presentation of data related to the transport products offered shall not mislead the consumer.

Flights operated by air carriers banned from operating in the Community shall be displayed in a clear and distinctive manner. The system vendor shall enable users to clearly identify the operating air carrier.

System vendors from third countries have an obligation to treat Community carriers in a manner that is equivalent to their treatment of national carriers. The Commission shall ensure that in third countries, Community air carriers are not treated in a discriminatory manner by system vendors. Should this be the case, the Commission may require system vendors operating in the Community to treat air carriers from third countries in a similar manner.

RULES OF CONDUCT FOR TRANSPORT PROVIDERS

Participating carriers shall submit accurate data to a CRS in such as way as to enable it to comply with the rules on displaying data.

A parent carrier, subject to reciprocity, shall not discriminate against a competing CRS by refusing, for example, to provide the latter with the same information on its own transport products that it provides to its own CRS.

A parent carrier shall not directly or indirectly favour its own CRS by obliging a subscriber to use a particular CRS to sell its transport products.

PROTECTION OF PERSONAL DATA

All system vendors shall be responsible for processing personal data. Personal data shall only be processed for the purpose of making reservations or issuing tickets for transport products.

AUDIT

System vendors shall submit an independently audited report every four years or upon request from the Commission.

INFRINGEMENTS AND PENALTIES

Where the Commission finds that there is an infringement of this Regulation, it may require the undertakings or associations of undertakings concerned to bring such an infringement to an end and impose on the latter fines not exceeding 10 % of the total turnover. The Commission shall first issue to the undertakings or associations of undertakings concerned a statement of objections.

This Regulation repeals Regulation (EEC)n° 2299/89.

Key terms of the Act
  • Transport product: the carriage of a passenger between two airports or rail stations;
  • Computerised reservation system or ‘CRS’: a computerised system containing information about, inter alia, schedules, availability and fares, of more than one air carrier, with or without facilities to make reservations or issue tickets, to the extent that some or all of these services are made available to subscribers;
  • System vendor: any entity and its affiliates which is or are responsible for the operation or marketing of a CRS;
  • Distribution facilities: facilities provided by a system vendor for the provision of information about air carriers’ and rail-transport operators’ schedules, availability, fares and related services and for making reservations and/or issuing tickets, and for any other related services.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 80/2009

29.3.2009

OJ L 35 of 4.2.2009

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A sustainable future for European transport

A sustainable future for European transport

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about A sustainable future for European transport

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Transport > Intermodality and trans-european networks

A sustainable future for European transport

Document or Iniciative

Commission Communication of 17 June 2009 – “A sustainable future for transport: Towards an integrated, technology-led and user friendly system” [COM(2009) 279 final– Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Objectives for European Union (EU) transport policy were set both in the mid-term review of the White Paper 2001 and in the Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS) of 2006. The European transport policy has largely achieved the objectives defined in those strategy documents, by facilitating market opening and integration, by establishing high quality standards for safety, security and passenger rights and by improving working conditions.

However, the environment remains a policy area where further improvements are necessary. Within the EU, transport is the sector with the highest growth rate of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in comparison to levels in 1990: the transport sector has significantly increased its activity without making sufficient progress in reducing its energy use and GHG intensity.

There are several societal trends which will challenge the transport sector in the future:

  • ageing of society, requiring an increased emphasis on the provision of secure and reliable transport services, while increasing social spending and leaving less public funds for transport;
  • increasing oil scarcity, putting pressure on prices;
  • environmental challenges, as transport emissions continue to grow and local pollution is still too high;
  • migration, internal mobility and globalisation of the economy, entailing more movement of people and goods and putting strain on ports, airports and their access;
  • growing urbanisation, causing more congestion in urban areas.

Policy objectives for sustainable transport

The European transport policy aims to establish a sustainable transport system that meets the economic, social and environmental needs of society, and contributes to a fully integrated and competitive Europe. This goal can be divided into the following policy objectives:

  • quality transport that is safe and secure;
  • a well maintained and fully integrated network;
  • more environmentally sustainable transport;
  • keeping the EU at the forefront of transport services and technologies;
  • protecting transport workers and their rights as well as simultaneously developing the human capital to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the EU economy;
  • better price signals to improve economic efficiency by providing economic incentives to, for example, use the road in off-peak hours or use more environmentally friendly means of transport;
  • improving accessibility.

POLICIES FOR SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT

The Commission suggests how the following policy instruments could be best used to respond to the sustainability challenge:

Infrastructure

Integration and interoperability of the individual parts of the transport network are necessary to achieve the optimal functioning of the European transport system as a whole. The creation of new infrastructure is expensive, whereas a lot can be achieved by simply upgrading the existing network within the EU. Intelligent transport systems and European global navigation satellite systems can be used to complement and enhance the ‘traditional’ transport networks.

Funding

The transition towards a low carbon economy will require significant and well coordinated funding. The transport sector needs to become increasingly self-financing in relation to infrastructure. The Commission suggests that charges representative of the costs of congestion, air pollution, CO2 emissions, noise and accidents can provide funding for transport, while promoting more sustainable behaviour and giving better signals for investments.

Technology

There is a significant need for a technological shift towards low-emission vehicles and for the development of alternative solutions for sustainable transport. The Commission proposes fostering R&D expenditures towards sustainable mobility, for example through the European Green Cars Initiative and Joint Technology Initiatives.

The legislative framework

An increasing number of companies are active across national markets, which benefits overall economic performance and employment within the EU. The internal market needs to be completed with the removal of the remaining barriers between countries and transport modes and the reduction of administrative burdens on transport companies. The legislative framework in the transport sector needs to be developed towards harmonised environmental obligations, effective supervision, uniform protection of workers conditions and users’ rights.

Educate, inform and involve

Education, information and awareness raising campaigns have a strong influence on consumer behaviour and could facilitate sustainable mobility choices. Citizens should be better informed on the reasoning behind EU transport policy decisions and on available alternatives. Workers in the transport sector should be involved through information and consultation on the development, application and monitoring of transport policy.

Governance: effective and coordinated action

The EU transport system involves political, economic, social and technical interaction. Effective coordination will be required to ensure the interoperability of new technologies and regulatory practices and to avoid the multiplication of different systems at national level. EU level cooperation can also help urban authorities in making their transport systems more sustainable while respecting the principle of subsidiarity.

The external dimension

The EU holds a prominent position in the transport sector at a global level, setting standards which are increasingly also being adopted outside of the EU, such as EURO emission standards for road vehicles. International cooperation in the transport sector, aimed to establish interconnection of the major transport axes with neighbouring regions, should be promoted.

EU guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network

EU guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about EU guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Regional policy > Management of regional policy > Trans-european networks

EU guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network

Document or Iniciative

Decision No 661/2010/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 July 2010 on Union guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network.

Summary

The trans-European transport network (TEN-T) aims to contribute to two major European Union (EU) objectives – the smooth functioning of the internal market and the strengthening of economic and social cohesion – by means of attaining a number of specific objectives:

  • sustainable mobility of persons and goods across the EU;
  • high-quality infrastructure;
  • effective coverage of the whole territory of the EU, by linking island, landlocked and peripheral regions to the central regions as well as interlinking the major conurbations and regions of the EU;
  • interoperability and intermodality within and between different modes of transport;
  • optimal use of existing capacities;
  • economic viability of the network;
  • connection of the network to the member countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, and the Mediterranean countries.

The TEN-T will comprise transport infrastructures (road, rail and inland waterway networks, motorways of the sea, seaports, inland waterway ports and airports), together with the corresponding traffic management systems and positioning and navigation systems networks.

Characteristics of the various transport networks

The road network comprises motorways and high-quality roads, as well as infrastructure for traffic management, user information, dealing with incidents and electronic fee collection. This network should guarantee its users a high, uniform and continuous level of services, comfort and safety, not least through active cooperation between traffic management systems at European, national and regional level and providers of travel and traffic information and value added services.

The rail network comprises both high-speed and conventional rail networks, as well as facilities that enable the integration of rail and road and, where appropriate, maritime services and air transport services. Technical harmonisation and the gradual implementation of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) harmonised command and control system ensures the interoperability of national networks. The users should benefit from a high level of quality and safety, thanks to continuity and interoperability.

The inland waterway network comprises rivers, canals, and inland ports. The network also includes traffic management infrastructure, and in particular an interoperable, intelligent traffic and transport system (River Information Services), intended to optimise the existing capacity and safety of the inland waterway network as well as improve its interoperability with other modes of transport.

The motorways of the sea network concentrates flows of freight on sea-based logistical routes so as to improve existing maritime links and establishes new viable, regular and frequent links for the transport of goods between EU countries.

The airport network comprises airports situated within the EU which are open to commercial air traffic and which comply with certain criteria as set out in Annex II of this decision. They should permit the development of air links, both within the EU and between the EU and the rest of the world, as well as the interconnection with other modes of transport.

A combined transport network comprises railways and inland waterways that permit long-distance combined transport of goods between all EU countries. It also comprises intermodal terminals equipped with installations allowing transhipment between the different transport networks.

The shipping management and information network will comprise coastal and port shipping management systems, vessel positioning systems, reporting systems for vessels transporting dangerous goods and communication systems for distress and safety at sea.

The air traffic management network comprises the air space reserved for general aviation, airways, air navigation aids, the traffic planning and management systems and the air traffic control systems, necessary to ensure safe and efficient aviation in European airspace.

The positioning and navigation network comprises the satellite positioning and navigation systems and the systems that will be defined in the future European Radio Navigation Plan. These systems are intended to provide a reliable and efficient positioning and navigation service which could be used by all modes of transport.

Priority projects

The priority projects are projects of common European interest that fulfill the following criteria:

  • are intended to eliminate a bottleneck or complete a missing link on a major route of the trans-European network ;
  • are on such a scale that long-term planning at European level contributes significant added value;
  • present potential socio-economic benefits;
  • significantly improve the mobility of goods and persons between EU countries;
  • contribute to enhancing the territorial cohesion of the EU by integrating the networks of the new EU countries;
  • contribute to the sustainable development of transport.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision No 661/2010/EU

25.8.2010

OJ L 204 of 5.8.2010