This paper aims to analyse the European system of Air Traffic Management (ATM) as a specific case study of risk regulation in the framework of the European integration process. At the present, the implementation of the Single European Sky is a growing area of EU policy, which shows the potential and the difficulties of coordinating national competences in a supranational regulatory framework. This search for coordination has a direct impact on air traffic safety itself and it involves the development of risk mitigation policies at both the EU level and at the level of individual Member States. The existing trade off between risk and safety as conveyed by technology affects both the instruments and the content of risk management. Since the failure of safety measures when providing air services could result in disaster, regulation needs to address this issue. Two main questions assist in the implementation of the regulatory framework: what level of protection is appropriate against such uncertainty and the risks of possible catastrophic impact, and who bears the risk in case the delivered safety system fails. Precautionary safety standards on the one hand and liability remedies on the other are therefore addressed as the key issues for the regulation and distribution of risks. By focusing on these issues, the fragmentation of the current legal framework in ATM illustrates the current legal difficulties in the integration of the European skies.

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Published on 31/12/11
Accepted on 31/12/11
Submitted on 31/12/11

Volume 2012, 2012
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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