E-15/22 - EFTA Surveillance Authority v Norway
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Deadlines: Motivation ministry: 1 March 20234
Written observations: 17 April 2023
Keywords: data link services, air navigation, air traffic
Subject: Commission Regulation (EC) No 29/2009 of 16 January 2009 laying down requirements on data link services for the single European sky
Facts of the case:
Data link services are used to send information between aircraft and air traffic controllers, supplementing the traditional voice communications used between pilots and air traffic control centres. In a letter to the Norwegian Government dated 31-05-2018, the Authority requested information regarding the status for the implementation of data link services in Norway. In its reply to the Authority dated 02-07-2018, the Norwegian Government confirmed that the air traffic service (“ATS”) provider designated by Norway, Avinor Air Navigation Services (Avinor Flysikring), had not yet implemented the data link services as required by the Regulation. The Norwegian Government has, in its correspondence with the Authority, referred to technical difficulties as the reason for the ATS provider’s decision to postpone implementation of the data link services. The Norwegian Government has further explained that the development of a new ATM system, in relation to which the ATS provider has chosen to implement the data link services, has been delayed due to administrative or practical reasons, and recently has also been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As regards the justification put forward by the Norwegian Government in its correspondence with the Authority as regards its failure to comply with its obligations under the Regulation, the Authority submits that it follows from settled case-law that an EEA State cannot plead internal situations to justify a failure to comply with the obligations and time-limits arising under EEA law. The Authority therefore submits that Norway has failed to fulfil its obligations under Articles 3(1) and 7(1) of the Regulation.
Accordingly, the Authority requests the Court to:
1. declare that Norway, by not providing and operating data link services by 5 February 2018, has failed to fulfil its obligations under Articles 3(1) and 7(1) of Commission Regulation (EC) No 29/2009 of 16 January 2009 laying down requirements on data link services for the single European sky, and
2. order Norway to bear the costs of these proceedings.
Policy Area: IenW