‘European authorities have seized on this week’s airline crisis to fast-track their control of airspace, but they appear to have less interest in helping airlines pay the bills left by the volcanic ash cloud. European transport commissioner Siim Kallas will next week present recommendations learned from a week of aviation chaos, which the airline industry says cost it about $1.7 billion in lost revenue, though it also saved some $660 million in costs such as fuel.
Unifying Europe’s airspace is likely to top the list of proposals ahead of a meeting of EU transport ministers on May 4. “We need a fast coordinated European response to such crises,” said Kallas. “Instead we have a fragmented patchwork of 27 national airspaces. Without a central regulator, Europe was operating with one hand behind its back”.’