What is the issue?
The traffic rights between two countries are regulated by Air Services Agreements (ASA). Following the consolidation of the European Union, some clauses of the bilateral agreements between EU Member States and third countries entered in conflict with the European legislation. To solve this, the European Commission is negotiating bilaterally with third countries 'Horizontal Agreements' which replace all those bilateral clauses that are infringing EU law. For several years now, the European Commission has negotiated different models of agreements to enhance cooperation between European Member States and third countries, e.g. in the areas of safety, security, ATM. The most comprehensive ones being negotiated are with the US and Canada.
How is ECA involved?
ECA participates in the stakeholders' committee meetings organised by the European Commission before each round of negotiations with third countries, providing expertise and advocating for pilots' concerns. ECA works in close cooperation with the pilots' associations of third countries, such as ALPA International, in the context of the EU-US and EU-Canada negotiations, and is part of the EU delegation in both sets of negotiations.
Why is the issue important to ECA?
ECA makes sure that the Air Transport Agreements create market development and employment opportunities for pilots while not downgrading European pilots' rights, employment terms and working conditions. If creating a legal framework to enhance safety harmonisation and economic development of air traffic creates market opportunities, it might also bring unfair competition, social dumping and a risk of flags of convenience if the two parties are not on an equal level playing field.
Who is responsible?
- Executive Board Director: Dirk Polloczek
- Staff member: Rosella Marasco
- Working Group: External Relations (part of TNA WG)