Malta referred to EU Court for failure to comply with rules on provision of data link services

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 July, 2022 at 9:27 am by Andre Camilleri

The European Commission on Friday decided to referGreece, Malta and Slovakia to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failing to provide and operate data link services for all operators of appropriately equipped aircraft flying within the airspace under their responsibility.

The deadline for the air traffic service providers to operate data link services has expired and a lack of equipment in certain control centres is effectively preventing aircraft operators, which were also required to equip themselves with the technology, from using data link services.

The Commission opened infringement proceedings in May 2020 and sent reasoned opinions in July 2021. Since those member states remain in breach of the Regulation, the Commission has now decided to refer the cases to the Court.  

Data link systems are used to send information between aircraft and air traffic controllers and are complementary to the traditional voice communications used between the cockpit and air traffic control centres. Deploying this interoperable technology in Europe is essential to improve the efficiency of communications between pilots and controllers, thereby increasing air traffic control capacity and security. Each member state is required by Implementing Regulation (EC) 29/2009, in conjunction with Article 4(3) TEU, to take measures so that air traffic service providers are able to provide and operate such data link services.

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