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European Commission supports ERA on prioritised ADS-B rollout

The threat to regional air connectivity recedes following a meeting ERA held with the EC last week. ERA’s Director General and President met with Henrik Hololei, the European Commission Director-General for Mobility and Transport on 13 June to discuss the implementation of ADS-B and put forward ERA’s proposal for a prioritised and stepped approach.

ERA supports implementation of ADS-B, where there is a clear operational, business or safety benefit or improved customer value, however the blanket implementing regulation mandated will not provide all operators with any of these benefits in its current form.

An exemption plan, perhaps time-limited, is required to ensure that regional connectivity is not hampered, and ERA welcomes Henrik Hololei's support for this proposal that the issues suggesting exemptions are taken fully into account. Exemptions will enable some aircraft, too technically difficult or disproportionately expensive to retrofit, to continue operating in European airspace where there are no identifiable safety benefits before such aircraft are retired or otherwise withdrawn from service.

ERA’s President Andrew Kelly commented after the meeting: “ERA airlines provide the regional passenger and cargo connectivity that contributes to the socio-economic lifeblood for Europe. ADS-B requires a significant investment for our member airlines and while we agree that it is necessary, we are heartened by Henrik Hololei's view that there should not be a disproportionate or unnecessary burden on airlines that would in turn impact passengers, business and local economies”

A stepped approach to implementation based on ANSP, airspace user and airport needs, challenges and capabilities rather than a blanket approach creating inefficiencies, disruptions and unnecessary cost impacts for ERA airline members and their passengers looks likely to be adopted and ERA will continue to work with member airlines to ensure that their voices are heard. ERA will be attending the European Commission’s Workshop on the implementation of regulation (EU) №.1207/2011 (Surveillance performance and interoperability): Status and compliance issues Workshop on 4 July in Brussels.

Read ERA's press release following the meeting here.