EU reports on EX-YU air transport progress


The European Commission (EC) has published its annual progress reports for those aspiring to join the European Union, giving an assessment of what each candidate and potential candidate has achieved over the last year, as well as a set of guidelines on reform priorities, including air transport. Excerpts from the reports that concern aviation are outlined below:

Bosnia and Herzegovina

The 2009 Law on Civil Aviation is still under revision with a view to align it with the requirements of the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA). Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Air Navigation Services Agency, which took over responsibility for air traffic control from Croatia since December 2019, is operational. However, Bosnia and Herzegovina needs to urgently address the problem of chronic lack of adequately trained and qualified personnel within the Bosnia and Herzegovina Directorate of Civil Aviation (BHDCA), to avoid the risk of safety oversight. The recent reorganisation of BHDCA, while implementing major changes in its management structure, did not sufficiently address this problem. Moreover, there is no progress on alignment with the EU Regulation on Passenger Rights.


On aviation, amendments to the Law on air transport were adopted in July 2020. The new amendments will be instrumental in the successful completion of the first transitional phase of the European Common Aviation Area and the Single European Sky. The adoption of implementing legislation provided further alignment in air safety and air traffic operations. The tender for the concession to operate Airports of Montenegro, launched in October 2019, was suspended in 2020. The process, once reactivated, would be a test for Montenegro’s commitment to comply with the EU standards of fair and transparent public procurement and State aid rules. The certification of airports in Podgorica and Tivat is still not completed, as a result they are categorised as airports with no designation status. In December 2020, Montenegro Airlines permanently stopped its operations following the decision of the state aid authority that declared the state aid to the airline illegal. In January 2021, the government established a new national airline branded “Air Montenegro”, which started operations in June 2021. Any economic continuation should be eliminated between these two companies in line with competition and state aid rules.

North Macedonia

On aviation, North Macedonia has maintained a good level of alignment with the EU acquis and has partially aligned with the aviation safety legislation. EU support is helping the Civil Aviation Authority to comply with requirements of the European Common Aviation Authority Agreement. (EASA). More efforts are still needed to facilitate the European Aviation Safety Agency standardisation inspections.


Serbia has a good level of alignment with the EU acquis on aviation. With regards to the aviation regulations, Serbia is close to fulfilling all obligations stipulated in the first transitional period of the European Common Aviation Area Agreement. In the domain of aviation safety, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency continues monitoring the application of the EU safety standards implemented in Serbia, and in the course of 2021, it detected several deficiencies in the oversight of certain maintenance organisations, which led to the suspension of two approvals. The Agency will conduct a standardisation inspection in Serbia in April 2022.


On air transport, Kosovo is part of the European common aviation area and covered by the single European sky arrangements. The sector continues to face a number of challenges from Kosovo’s non-membership of several international civil aviation organisations. Lack of revenue from upper airspace management and institutional weakness of the Air Navigation Service Agency and the Civil Aviation Authority remains a challenge. These institutions should be strengthened, with the appointment of managers respecting merit-based recruitment principles. The Civil Aviation Authority reorganisation and administrative reforms should take into account both the commitments made on public administration reform principles, as well as the specific circumstances and requirements of the aviation sector. Additionally, Kosovo has continued its progressive alignment with the EU acquis of the European Common Aviation Area Agreement and should continue this work in order to fulfil all requirements.