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The regulation establishes requirements for the safe and efficient provision of air navigation services for general air traffic in the European Union (EU) as part of the single European sky* initiative. It is a binding regulation, applicable to all EU countries.
The regulation outlines the air navigation service provider certification procedures to be adopted by the supervisory authorities of EU countries. Certificates, valid in all EU countries, specify the rights and obligations of air navigation service providers. This includes access to services for airspace users* without discrimination, and with particular regard to safety, and the possibility of offering services to other providers, airspace users and airports within the EU.
Requirements for certification
competence and suitability;
systems for safety and quality management;
reporting systems and financial strength;
liability, insurance and security;
ownership and organisational structure, including the prevention of conflicts of interest;
human resources, including staffing.
National supervisory authorities
National supervisory authorities in EU countries are each responsible for designating a certificate-holder to provide exclusive air traffic services. They also ensure compliance for blocks of airspace under their control. This takes place jointly (or by agreement) if a block extends over more than one country, or if a certificate holder operates in more than one country.
If a provider does not meet the requirements, the authorities concerned can take action, including revoking the certificate. The authorities then become responsible for assuring continuity of service.
Functional airspace blocks
EU and non-EU countries, where appropriate, must by mutual agreement ensure the implementation of functional airspace blocks. These should have the necessary capacity and efficiency to maintain a high level of safety and reduced environmental impact. A functional airspace blocks system coordinator may be appointed by the European Commission to assist in this process.
National authorities may also designate an exclusive provider of meteorological services.
For general air traffic*, real-time operational data are exchanged between air navigation service providers, airspace users and airports, solely to facilitate operational needs. Approved written agreements are set up formalising working arrangements between service providers, and with military authorities.
The regulation requires open accounting procedures and lays out detailed guidelines for fair and transparent pricing of navigation services for airspace users.
Regulation (EC) No 550/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2004 on the provision of air navigation services in the single European sky (the service provision Regulation) (OJ L 96, 31.3.2004, pp. 10-19)
Successive amendments to Regulation (EC) No 550/2004 have been incorporated into the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.
Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2018 on common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Union Aviation Safety Agency, and amending Regulations (EC) No 2111/2005, (EC) No 1008/2008, (EU) No 996/2010, (EU) No 376/2014 and Directives 2014/30/EU and 2014/53/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Regulations (EC) No 552/2004 and (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Regulation (EEC) No 3922/91 (OJ L 212, 22.8.2018, pp. 1-122)
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 390/2013 of 3 May 2013 laying down a performance scheme for air navigation services and network functions (OJ L 128 of 9.5.2013, pp. 1-30)
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 391/2013 of 3 May 2013 laying down a common charging scheme for air navigation services (OJ L 128 of 9.5.2013, pp. 31-58)
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 409/2013 of 3 May 2013 on the definition of common projects, the establishment of governance and the identification of incentives supporting the implementation of the European Air Traffic Management Master Plan (OJ L 123 of 4.5.2013, pp. 1-7)
Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament — The creation of the single European sky (COM(1999) 614 final of 1 December 1999)
Commission Regulation (EU) No 176/2011 of 24 February 2011 on the information to be provided before the establishment and modification of a functional airspace block (OJ L 51 of 25.2.2011, pp. 2-7)
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1034/2011 of 17 October 2011 on safety oversight in air traffic management and air navigation services and amending Regulation (EU) No 691/2010 (OJ L 271 of 18.10.2011, pp. 15-22)
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1035/2011 of 17 October 2011 laying down common requirements for the provision of air navigation services and amending Regulations (EC) No 482/2008 and (EU) No 691/2010 (OJ L 271 of 18.10.2011, pp. 23-41)
Commission Regulation (EC) No 482/2008 of 30 May 2008 establishing a software safety assurance system to be implemented by air navigation service providers and amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 2096/2005 (OJ L 141 of 31.5.2008, pp. 5-10)
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 (the framework Regulation) (OJ L 96 of 31.3.2004, pp. 1-9)
Regulation (EC) No 552/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2004 on the interoperability of the European Air Traffic Management network (the interoperability Regulation) (OJ L 96 of 31.3.2004, pp. 26-42)