35. AIR TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT
Letter from the Rt Hon Gavin Strang MP,
Minister for Transport, Department of the Environment, Transport
and the Regions
You will recall that we have been keeping your
Committee informed of developments following the publication in
1996 of the Commission's White Paper on air traffic management
(ATM). The most recent correspondence culminated in your letter
to me of 29 October 1997.
As you will know from my letter of 25 June advising
you of the negotiating mandate for a European Aviation Safety
Authority, a Decision was taken at the Transport Council on 18
June for the Commission to negotiate Community membership of the
European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL).
The mandate includes negotiating directives
relating to the Community's accession to EUROCONTROL, the purpose
for which is described as being to assist EUROCONTROL in achieving
its objectives as set out in the Revised EUROCONTROL Convention,
notably to bring about a single and efficient body for ATM policy
making in Europe.
As is usual during negotiations to join international
organisations, a Special Committee of representatives from Member
States will be formed to oversee the negotiations. It will be
for the Austrian Presidency and its successors to chair this committee.
There is no fixed timetable for the negotiations but, in any case,
the Community cannot accede to EUROCONTROL until the Revised Convention,
signed on 27 June 1997, has been ratified by all 27 Member States
of EUROCONTROL; my understanding is that ratification is likely
to take several years.
Additionally, the Community has still to agree,
through a report to a future Transport Council, the internal working
arrangements which will arise from membership.
I shall continue to keep you informed of key
developments concerning this dossier.
7 July 1998
20 Printed in Correspondence with Ministers,
11th Report, Session 1997-98, p35. Back