Technical integration of Ukraine into the Joint Routing Charge System of the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) was finally approved during a meeting of Eurocontrol’s expanded Central Route Charges Office (CRCO) in Brussels on 24 November.

The State Air Traffic Services Enterprise (UkSATSE) announced this in a statement, the CFTS portal reports.

The route charges for air navigation services for 2021 were also set for Ukraine in the airspace over the country’s territory and in the part of the international airspace over the high seas (Green Zone), where the responsibility for Air Traffic Services is delegated to Ukraine by the international community.

“There has been more than one attempt to finalize this process since 2004, when Ukraine became a member of Eurocontrol. However, several factors became the obstacles that ensured that we remained the only country out of all 42 Eurocontrol member countries that functioned outside this system. Completion of this important stage of the European integration processes in the area of air navigation gives Ukraine a significant advantage: it will allow introduction of the European system for setting and collecting fees for air navigation services," UkSATSE’s head Andrii Yarmak said, commenting on the Eurocontrol decision.

For UkSATSE, the advantages of the completion of the technical integration are annual recalculation of rates for air navigation services and the setting of current rates on 1 January of each year in order to fully cover the costs of provision of services.

"The approval of two separate rates of route charges – for the airspace over the sovereign territory of Ukraine and the international airspace over the open seas – offers new potential opportunities to attract additional transit traffic over the Black Sea," UkSATSE said in the statement.

According to the statement, this will be facilitated by the establishment of a separate zone with a reduced rate and the positive decisions of the international aviation safety regulators EASA and FAA on revision of the parts of the Ukrainian airspace in which flights are prohibited. Eurocontrol has confirmed its technical readiness for differential charging of payment for air navigation services from April-June 2021.

"We must bring the Ukrainian regulatory framework in line with the adopted decision. As a result of the successful technical integration, Ukraine will become a full-fledged participant in the unified settlement process for all Eurocontrol member countries," Yarmak said.

Full technical integration of Ukraine into the Eurocontrol Joint Routing Charge System will also increase the efficiency of consultations with airlines on the national cost base and investment projects.

In addition, according to the statement, the processing of air navigation bills issued by Eurocontrol on behalf of Ukraine will ensure almost 100% payment of the bills by airlines.