EC: Bulgaria must set penalties against airlines breaking EU traffic management rules

The European Commission has officially requested Bulgaria to adopt the necessary rules to set up penalties in case of a 2010 EU regulation that establishes common rules for the management of air traffic flows in the EU.

The regulation specifically requires airlines to respect the flight plans and airport slots assigned to them, and requires EU member states to establish penalties in case of violation, the EC said.

“A national penalty system is necessary to combat the use of abusive or multiple flight plans, and the misuse of airport slots. These practices decrease the efficiency of the air traffic management with negative effects on operators (fuel costs, delays) and on the environment,” the EC said in a November 26 2014 statement.

The national legislation had to be in place by September 2011, but Bulgaria has failed so far to do so.

The request has been sent in the form of a reasoned opinion under the EU infringement procedures, the EC said.

Bulgaria has two months to notify the Commission of the measures taken to apply the Regulation. If it does not, the Commission may decide to refer Bulgaria to the EU’s Court of Justice.



The Sofia Globe staff

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