Regulation 549/2004 - SES Framework

Regulation 549/2004 - SES Framework

Regulation (EC) No 549/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2004 laying down the framework for the creation of the Single European Sky - text published in the Official Journal of the European Union


The objective of the Framework regulation is to enhance current safety standards and overall efficiency of the general air traffic in Europe, to optimise ATM system capacity and minimise air traffic delays by establishing a harmonised regulatory framework for air traffic management in Europe.


The Framework regulation forms part of the first package of legislation on air traffic management designed to create a Single European Sky (SES).This package includes also three technical regulations on the provision of air navigation services (The Service provision regulation), organisation and use of the airspace (The Airspace regulation) and the interoperability of the European air traffic management network (The Interoperability regulation). These regulations are designed, in particular, to improve and reinforce safety and to restructure the airspace based on traffic needs instead on national frontiers.


The Framework regulation establishes harmonised institutional, regulatory and consultation arrangements to enable the creation of the Single European Sky. In brief these are:

National Supervisory Authorities

Member States must nominate or establish one or more bodies as their National Supervisory Authority to perform the tasks assigned to such authorities. These authorities must be independent of air navigation service providers.

Single Sky Committee

Single Sky Committee is set up to assist the European Commission with management of the Single European Sky and make sure that due account is taken of the interests of all categories of users. It consists of two representatives of each EU Member State and is chaired by a representative of the European Commission.

Military Issues

The EU Member States adopted a general statement on military issues related to the Single European Sky. According to this, they will enhance civil/military cooperation to the extent deemed necessary by all Member States concerned.

Industry Consultation Body

This body advises the European Commission on technical aspects of implementation of the Single European Sky. The Industry Consultation Body is made up of representatives of air navigation service providers, associations of airspace users, airports, the aviation industry and professional staff representative bodies.

Implementing Rules

EUROCONTROL is involved in the development of implementing rules which fall within its remit, on the basis of mandates agreed by the Single Sky Committee. Representatives of EUROCONTROL are invited to sit in on the work of this Committee as observers.

Performance Review

The Commission is responsible for examination and evaluation of air navigation service performance, drawing upon the expetise of EUROCONTROL, with the aim of:

  • Allowing comparison and improvement of air navigation services;
  • Assisting air navigation service providers to deliver the required services;
  • Improving the consultation process between airspace users, air navigation service providers and airports;
  • Allowing identification and promotion of best practice, including improved safety, efficiency and capacity.


Finally, this regulation does not prevent Member States from applying measures needed to safeguard essential security or defence policy interests.

SES II Amendment to the Regulation

In order to improve the performance and sustainability of the European aviation system the Framework regulation was amended by Regulation (EC) No 1070/2009 of 14 November 2009.

A number of changes have been introduced to ensure a consistent and sound oversight of service provision across Europe by the National Supervisory Authorities (NSA), as well as to improve and extend consultation with stakeholders. Of particular importance are the changes related to:

  • Article 11 - “Performance scheme”: A performance scheme for air navigation services and network functions is introduced. It shall include: performance targets in the areas of safety, environment, capacity and cost-efficiency; national plans or plans for functional airspace blocks; periodic review, monitoring and benchmarking of the performance of air navigation services and network functions. Further provisions in this article specify the responsible bodies, processes and procedures for the operation of the performance scheme.
  • New article 13a - “European Aviation Safety Agency”: When implementing SES regulations Member States and the Commission shall coordinate as appropriate with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to ensure that all safety aspects are properly addressed.

Regulation (EC) No 549/2004 laying down the framework for the creation of the Single European Sky - consolidated text

Further Reading

European Commission


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