Malta taken to European Court of Justice over failure to provide data link services to aircraft operators

Malta, along with Slovakia and Greece, has been referred to the European Court of Justice for failing to provide data link services to aircraft operators.

Data link systems are the information networks used for communication between landing aircraft and air traffic control towers – in 2009, the EU passed regulations obliging both member states and aircraft operators to use such data link systems.

“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,” the Commission said in a statement.

The infringement procedures against the three EU member states in breach of the data link regulations were instituted in May 2020, with reasoned opinions issued in July 2021. Since those Member States are yet to comply with the regulation, the Commission has now decided to refer the cases to the Court of Justice.

The Commission opens infringement procedures against a member state by first sending a formal notice letter allowing the member state a two-month window to submit replies. This is usually carried out when a member state is known or suspected of breaking EU laws.

Following the formal letter, the Commission then escalates its concerns by sending a reasoned opinion and, if deemed necessary, taking the errant member state to the European Court of Justice.

“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 statement adds.

The need for data link services across the EU derives from the Single European Sky initiative, which aims to increase coordination in Europe’s shared air spaces.

Malta is currently facing infringement procedures at the European Court of Justice over other breaches of EU law that include Malta’s failure to comply with urban wastewater treatment protocols, an annual circulation tax that discriminates against cars registered in other member states before January 2009, and the ‘research derogation’ that allows the trapping of finches in Malta.


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2 years ago

I thought Malta had the largest order of tippex to remove the articles within the EU they didn’t like or want to abide by! It’s about time the little island was held accountable and realised that the laws are there for a reason.

Out of Curiosity
Out of Curiosity
2 years ago

Again, this Government has no shame anymore and those who are supposed to work hard to improve our quality of life and lifting up Malta’s reputation, are only focused to make good money until it lasts. In the past we were told that Malta would be placed as one of the top countries in the world with the ability to import all types of workers instead of having Malese emigrating elsewhere. Today, this Gov has no shame to continue tarnishing our reputation, downgrading our quality of life, supporting corruption, destroying labourites of good will, taking for a ride environmentalists and those who are in favor of good governance. Piu di cosi si muore!

Francis Said
Francis Said
2 years ago

Well the Malta Labour Party was always against joining the EU. This seems to be the undercurrent philosophy of the PL
This is certainly not helping Malta’s relationship with the EU. All these infringements are unnecessary and possibly harming our reputation not only with the EU but beyond.
We have just scraped through getting out of being grey listed, let’s go one better by becoming black listed.

Godfrey Leone Ganado
Godfrey Leone Ganado
2 years ago

L-aqwa fid-dinja.
Infrigements in everything.
The EU has not yet realised that the only way forward for Malta’s adherence to European rules and regulations, is to suspend indefinitely, all forms of funding that Malta has access to.
Malta, as an EU State, should also be held criminally responsible for any damages that may arise, as a result of non-conformity with such security regulations.

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