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Summary of the NSA function of the IAA

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is the National Supervisory Authority (NSA) under the performance and charging schemes of the Single European Sky. 

Before the implementation of Regulation (EU) 1191/2010 laying the common charging scheme under the Single European Sky, we (as the Commission for Aviation Regulation) set the level of revenues that the IAA Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) 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.

What is the role of the NSA in the context of Performance and Charging Regulation?

The NSA operates under the following EU regulations 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.