24 November 2011 Guenter Martis' Europe Blog

The New Performance Scheme for European ANSPs

One of the key implementation measures of the Single European Sky Package II is the regulation for a new performance scheme for air navigation services in Europe, which entered into force last year.
Under this new regulation the full cost recovery system will be replaced by the predetermined cost regime from 2012 onwards. This means the ANSPs will have to perform better with regards to targets set as part of the national - or Functional Airspace Block - performance plans, which in turn need to be aligned to targets set at a European level.

Preparation for the implementation of the new regulatory approach is well under way. The European-wide targets have been fixed at the end of 2010 and the Member States have developed their performance plans. The performance plans have been submitted to the European Commission, which - with the help of the Performance Review Body (PRB) - is in the process of finalising its assessment. All performance plans should be checked and ready for implementation in 2012 when the first reference period (RP1) starts. RP1 stretches from 2012 to 2014. The second reference period (RP2) will be longer and it is planned for 2015 to 2020.

The European Commission - with the help of the PRB - has to propose some European level targets to the Member States for RP2 by the autumn of 2013. They are currently preparing the ground for setting the Key Performance Indicators and the EU targets for RP2, which takes a gate-to-gate approach (during RP1 only en-route services are included and the performance of ATS at terminal areas is monitored). The preparatory steps have included an informal information gathering mission involving all the stakeholders. A questionnaire was sent to all the aviation stakeholders and a stakeholder workshop and bilateral meetings were held. CANSO had the opportunity to provide high level viewpoints on the process:
  • CANSO expects the European Commission to consider the lessons learnt from the RP1 process before finalising the RP2 requirements. This is essential to ensure the credibility of the Performance Scheme. There is a potential risk that due to leading times needed for RP2 development and target setting there is no mechanism to accommodate appropriate lessons learnt from RP1 before implementing extended RP2 targets.
  • It is a challenge for ANSPs to make detailed projections and present concrete proposals for RP2 at this stage. A clear understanding of the results related to RP1 is required.
  • Any expansion of the Performance Scheme should follow “better regulation” principles of subsidiarity, proportionality, transparency and accountability.
  • RP2 needs to be simple to implement, meaning that the currently agreed four KPAs and KPIs should not be increased. Furthermore, the data that is required should be restricted to what is really relevant for implementing the performance scheme.
  • In developing RP2 Key Performance Indicators, ANSPs expect lessons learnt from RP1 to be integrated in the Commission’s assessment of RP2 and would like the Commission to take into account some specific points such as the importance of trade-offs between different KPAs and/or KPIs (for instance, the balance between costs and delay), the uncertainty of the traffic forecast and its huge impact on the ability of the ANSPs to achieve their targets and the need to properly consider the importance of ALL local stakeholders in achieving local targets (airports, ground handling & ATM).
  • The European regulatory framework should be harmonised while taking into consideration the on-going initiatives that, within the SES, have an impact on planning and performance i.e. the ATM Master Plan update (by mid 2012), the SESAR Deployment strategy, Network Functions and Network Plans and the Functional Airspace Blocks.
  • A balanced top-down and bottom-up approach should be sought, a consistent and transparent system and consolidation methodology bridging EU-wide and local targets should ensure realistic target setting, also allowing for National Supervisory Authority (NSA) analysis of local circumstances.
  • More time and a clear role should be given to ANSPs/NSAs allowing for intensified consultation earlier in the process to avoid strictly top-down driven target setting, without bottom-up analysis for RP2. The PRB should work to strengthen NSAs to enable greater local analysis.

The preparation process of the EU-targets is not finalised. Stakeholders must be consulted further on a draft regulatory approach in the spring of 2012. CANSO will closely monitor this key matter.

Guenter Martis

Guenter Martis

Guenter is CANSO's Director European Affairs. He heads CANSO's activities in Europe and represents ANSPs in Eurocontrol, the Industry Consultation Body, the SESAR Joint Undertaking Administrative Board, and co-chairs the EU Social Dialogue.

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