Air Traffic Management Reform
Ryanair has been a long-time advocate of the “Single European Sky” project. The much needed and overdue reform of ATM in Europe can dramatically reduce CO2 and non-CO2 emissions from aviation. A more efficient ATM network would result in a 10% reduction in carbon emissions and bring us closer to our goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
In FY23, Ryanair launched a petition seeking support from EU citizens for EU legislation aimed at protecting 100% of ‘overflights’ during times of national ATC strikes, modelled on national laws protecting overflights in Spain, Italy and Greece. An overflight is a flight over a particular airspace, which does not take off from or land at any airport within that airspace.
By enabling overflights during strike action, additional emissions could be eliminated where currently aircraft are forced to fly longer to avoid the closed airspace. Well over 1m people had signed and supported our “PROTECT PASSENGERS – KEEP EU SKIES OPEN” petition when we presented the petition to the European Commission in May 2023. We called for legislation based on the following principles:
- Respect the strike rights of ATC unions, but
- Protect 100% of overflights during national ATC strikes
- If ATC strikes require cancellations, then allocate these to domestic/short-haul flights to/from the affected State
- Enforce binding arbitration for ATC disputes before strike action
- Require a 21-day notice of strike action
- Require a 72 hour notice of employee participation in ATC strikes to minimise passenger disruption
Better Air Traffic Management -10% CO2
Current Air Traffic Management +10% CO2
Ryanair is active in highlighting the climate-negative impacts of the European Commission’s proposal to continue the unjustified exemption of long-haul flights from EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) beyond 2026. Continuing with the limited scope of the ETS (i.e., covering intra-EU flights only) means that over 50% of European aviation emissions – generated by just 6% of flights (long-haul) – are not accounted or paid for under the scheme. Together with the environment NGO Transport & Environment, Ryanair continues to promote the extension of the EU ETS to all flights departing from an EEA airport.