Commission refers Poland to the Court of Justice over air traffic rights

The European Commission has decided to refer Poland to the European Union’s Court of Justice for failing to adopt transparent and non-discriminatory procedures for allocating air traffic rights.

The EU rules

Regulation 847/2004 imposes certain obligations on Member States in order to ensure that transparent and non-discriminatory national procedures exist for the allocation of limited air traffic rights ( 1 ).

The reason for today’s action

Poland still has not laid down such a procedure although the regulation was adopted more than seven years ago. Until now, several letters were sent to the Polish authorities from the Commission, including a reasoned opinion sent in January 2011. Poland is one of the very last EU Member States without any rules regarding the allocation of limited traffic rights.

The practical effect of non-implementation

The absence of such a procedure in Poland prevents an EU air carrier coming from another Member State from competing for traffic rights between Poland and third countries. This causes a potential exclusion of other EU air carriers desiring to operate in Poland and infringes the basic rules of the aviation common market.

1 :

These procedures shall apply in cases where more than one air carrier wishes to use air traffic rights which are limited under an air traffic agreement, and where the extent of the rights does not allow all the interested parties to operate air traffic services.

Source: European Commission