Airlines Seen to Save $1.35 B in EU Air-Traffic Fees in 3 Years

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Airlines that fly in the European Union may save more than 1 billion euros ($1.35 billion) on air-traffic charges over three years after national governments approved performance targets for navigation companies following a previous veto threat.

EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas won support from the governments for a proposal setting cost-efficiency goals for air-traffic control companies six weeks after withdrawing one because of national opposition.

Kallas made the initial proposal in October using powers won under a 2009 "Single European Sky" law designed to break down national barriers.

"The Single European Sky has achieved a key milestone in its implementation with this agreement on ambitious but achievable performance targets," Kallas said in a statement today in Brussels. The measures will lead to 340 million euros of savings a year for airspace users in 2012-2014, according to the European Commission, the EU's regulatory arm.

The 27-nation EU is mounting a fresh campaign to force down air-traffic charges of about 7 billion euros a year in Europe. On a per-flight basis, that's around double the rate in the U. …