GENEVA – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) welcomed the ratification of the contract for the definition phase for the Single European Sky Implementation Programme. IATA Director General & CEO Giovanni Bisignani met with Jacques Barrot, Vice President of the European Commission in Lisbon today and praised his leadership in taking a giant step forward to more efficient European skies.

“While this day has been a long time coming, we are glad to see that the Commission and EUROCONTROL have recognised the need to move forward and that work can begin on making a European Single Sky a reality,” said Bisignani. “Mr. Barrot’s leadership has been instrumental in attaining this critical milestone. We must now turn our attention to making it happen. Industry losses continue to mount and a more efficient European air traffic system will reduce delays for the travelling public and contribute to the overall health of the airline industry.”

SESAR, formerly known as SESAME, has been recognised by the air transport community as the most appropriate means to mobilise the required support for the operational implementation of the Single European Sky legislation.

IATA is one of the 29 Air Traffic Alliance consortium partners that ratified the contract. The consortium consists of airspace users, airports, Air Navigation Services Providers and supply industries.