Air transport

(Photo: European Commission)

 Air transport

The single market for aviation was created in the 1990s in three steps: 

The first “package” of measures adopted in December 1987 limited the right of governments to object to the introduction of new fares for intra-EU traffic. 

The second “package” in 1990 allowed greater flexibility over the setting of fares and capacity sharing. It also gave all EU carriers the right to carry an unlimited number of passengers or cargo between their home country and another EU country. 

The “third package” of measures applied as from January 1993 introduced the freedom to provide services within the EU and, in April 1997, the freedom to provide “cabotage” - the right of an airline of one member state to operate a route within another  member state.

This single market has been extended to Norway, Iceland and Switzerland in the following years. Then in July 2006 the European Commission made a proposal for modifying and simplifying the legal framework for the internal air transport market. Aviation policy  relations with countries located outside the EU are laid down in bilateral air services agreements.

These agreements are regularly negotiated between Governments as represented by their Aeronautical Authorities. 

The Community (EC) external aviation policy was initated by the so-called “open skies” judgement of 5 November 2002 of the Court of Justice of the European Communities.

The “open skies” judgement means that member states cannot act in isolation when negotiating international air service agreements. Thus existing bilateral agreements had to be adapted to bring them into line with supranational Community law. 

The centrepiece of the European Union’s strategy for aviation safety is the European Aviation Safety Agency.   



The Air transport website of the European Commission: 

European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA):  

See also Lisbon Treaty Article 100.2 TFEU and