Answer – Negotiations on an aviation agreement between the European Union and Turkey – P-004979/2016

The Commission is aware of the aviation safety concerns in the Nicosia Flight Information Region. The Commission notes that Council Decision 2008/157 on the principles, priorities and conditions contained in the Accession Partnership with the Republic of Turkey included the following priority: ‘in the field of aviation, work towards a technical solution to ensure the necessary communication in order to guarantee the appropriate level of air safety in the South Eastern Mediterranean region’. Most recently, the Commission asked the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to analyse these air traffic management issues. EASA’s findings confirmed that major hazards persist in the region and, while mitigating operating measures have up to now maintained the safety risk at an acceptable level, the situation is not sustainable in the long run. The Commission will continue to facilitate discussions among the authorities concerned with the aim of securing operational solutions to these safety issues.

More generally, the Commission notes that all aviation agreements between the EU and third countries are based on the recognition by the third country of its obligation to treat all Member States in a non-discriminatory manner in the implementation of the agreement. Any future agreement with Turkey shall be no different in this regard.