Air Navigation Charges

Summary of the NSA function of the CAR

From 1 January 2020, we have been designated as a National Supervisory Authority (NSA) for economic regulation under the performance and charging schemes of the Single European Sky. The Safety Regulation Division of the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA SRD) was the NSA for economic regulation between 2011 and 2019 and remains as the NSA for all other regulatory and oversight tasks under the performance scheme, outside of the EU regulation that has been allocated to CAR.  The legal allocation of the roles of CAR and IAA SRD is here.

Before the implementation of Regulation (EU) 1191/2010 laying the common charging scheme under the Single European Sky, we set the level of revenues that the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) could collect in charges of terminal air navigation services levied on users at Cork, Dublin and Shannon airports. Documents relating to Aviation Terminal Services Charges (ATSC) determinations published between 2002 and 2011 are here.


What is the Single European Sky?

The Single European Sky is an initiative to reform air traffic management in Europe in order to support continued air traffic growth under the safest, most cost-efficient, flight-efficient and environmentally friendly conditions. Cost efficiency in air navigation services should enable the key objectives of harmonising the European airspace, reducing delays, increasing safety standards and flight efficiency to reduce the environmental impact of aviation.

The European system of air navigation services covers 37 air navigation service providers. The Single European Sky integrates third countries into the EU legal framework to provide benefits to the pan-European dimension of the network. It also supports international cooperation, for example with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).


What are the Single European Sky Performance and Charging Schemes?

The Single European Sky performance and charging schemes are the instruments of economic regulation of air navigation service providers.

Under the Performance Scheme, the European Commission periodically adopts EU-wide performance targets in the key performance areas of safety, environment, airspace capacity and cost efficiency. The European Commission approves National or Functional Airspace Block (FAB) performance plans that are consistent with EU-wide targets.

National Supervisory Authorities draw up draft Performance Plans which are subject to consultation with air navigation service providers, airspace users' representatives, and, where relevant, airport operators and airport coordinators. Performance plans are based on the business plans of air navigation service providers and include the sharing of some financial risks between air navigation service providers and airspace users. Draft Performance Plans are then approved by the European Commission.

Under the Charging Scheme, user en route and terminal charges are calculated based on the targets in the key performance area of cost efficiency. The charging scheme aims to achieve greater transparency with respect to the determination, imposition and enforcement of charges to airspace users.


What are Reference Periods?

EU-wide targets and performance plans apply during reference periods that cover a minimum of three years and a maximum of five years. The first reference period (RP1) ran for three years from 2012 to 2014, and the second reference period (RP2) ran for five years from 2015 to 2019.

The third reference period (RP3) is scheduled to run from 2020 to 2024. The European Commission is currently in the process of addressing the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on air navigation service provision, including revisions to the performance and charging scheme implementation in RP3.


What are the roles of the CAR and the IAA SRD?

We have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Safety Regulation Division of the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA SRD) that provides a framework of cooperation and collaboration to allow both organisations work together to effectively and efficiently achieve our respective goals and tasks under our respective National Supervisory Authority roles.

From 1 January 2020, we are the National Supervisory Authority in Ireland in charge of economic regulation in the key area of cost efficiency in national performance plans and charging schemes. We have been allocated the following EU regulation under the Single European Sky:

  • Regulation 549/2004 laying down the framework for the creation of the Single European Sky. Article 11 provides for the set up of performance schemes for air navigation services which review, monitor and benchmark performance targets on safety, environment, capacity and cost-efficiency.
  • Regulation 550/2004 on the provision of air navigation services in the Single European Sky. Article 12(4) provides us right of access to the accounts of air navigation service providers. Chapter III provides for the set up of a charging scheme for air navigation services that contributes to the achievement of greater transparency with respect to the determination, imposition and enforcement of charges to airspace users.
  • Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/317 laying down an adapted regulatory framework for the third reference period (RP3) of the performance scheme. It revises and consolidates the rules contained in Implementing Regulations (EU) 390/2013 and 391/2013.

The Safety Regulation Division of the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA SRD) remains the designated NSA outside of the above articles and regulations. Examples of the NSA tasks of IAA SRD are associated with:

  • Regulation (EC) 549/2004, Regulation (EC) 550/2004 and Regulation (EC) 551/2004, excluding the Articles of Regulation (EC) 549/2004 and Regulation (EC) 550/2004 and their implementing regulations mentioned above.
  • Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 and the associated implementing regulations and rules, in so far as they apply to air traffic management and air navigation services (ATM/ANS) and air traffic controllers (ATCO).
  • Regulation (EU) 376/2014.
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