Harmonised European Transition Altitude (HETA)

On behalf of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), EUROCONTROL is currently evaluating the feasibility of implementing a Harmonised European Transition Altitude (HETA)

Following the Single Sky Committee (SSC) decision the Commission tasked EASA, in conjunction with EUROCONTROL, to start a pre-rulemaking phase and to publish an Advance Notice of Proposed Amendment (A-NPA) for the harmonisation of the European transition altitude.
In 2011 EUROCONTROL launched a Harmonised European Transition Altitude Task Force (HETA TF) with the participation of stakeholders, EUROCONTROL and EASA representatives. The task of HETA TF was also to develop a Regulatory Impact Assessment, preparing the possible development of an Implementing Rule for a common EU wide transition altitude.
The work of HETA TF was accomplished at the end of 2011 by providing a Preliminary Impact Assessment (PIA), based on three identified regulatory options.
  1. Baseline option: no regulatory intervention ('Do nothing' option)
  2. Implementing Rule mandating HETA at 18000 ft
  3. Implementing Rule prescribing common criteria for the determination of the transition altitude at or above 10000 ft

In October 2012 EASA reported to SSC/47 the results of the A-NPA and the PIA. The PIA, together with a set of stakeholder questionnaires, formed the basis of the EASA A-NPA. The Single Sky Committee (SSC) decided to create a new Rule-making Task based on the results of the preliminary regulatory impact assessment with the aim of developing a comprehensive Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) and further define the most suitable option (including the 'Do Nothing' option) in view of launching a public consultation via a Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA).

In the frame of the EUROCONTROL / EASA work-programme, EUROCONTROL has been tasked to develop the CBA and assist EASA in developing the Notice of Proposed Amendment for HETA.


The following data collection sheets reflect the outcome of each workgroup session of the recent HETA stakeholder workshop of 31 September and 1 October 2013 (see Workshop tab) and summarise the detailed review of work and studies performed on HETA in the past as well as individual meetings with stakeholders during the recent activities.

In order to capture all costs and benefits that would result from the implementation of option 2 or 3 as described above (option 1 being the reference scenario against which all costs will be measured), all stakeholders are invited to download and fill in their respective template by 31 January 2014.

Please return your completed sheet to heta@eurocontrol.int at the latest by Friday, 31 January 2014.  Please be informed that feedback received after that date will not be taken into account.

We would like to point out that your data may influence to a great extent the option eventually chosen at European level and that it is therefore in your own interest to fill in the data sheets as accurately and complete as possible and return them on time.


On behalf of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), EUROCONTROL is currently evaluating the feasibility of implementing a Harmonised European Transition Altitude (HETA) and has held the HETA Stakeholder Workshop on 30 September and 1 October 2013.

Considering the complexity of the subject, it is of utmost importance to ensure early stakeholder involvement in order to prepare a well balanced approach considering the specific views and interests of all potentially impacted stakeholders.

The objective of the workshop was to discuss, validate and further develop the Cost-Benefit Model as applied for the Cost/Benefit Analysis in order to determine the economic feasibility of the proposed options.

Workshop material:


One of the objectives of Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 (Basic Regulation) is to assist Member States in fulfilling their obligations under the Chicago Convention, by providing a basis for a common interpretation and uniform implementation of its provisions.

At the same time, there is a great variety in the implementation of Transition Altitude (TA) in Europe and discussions on the need for a Harmonised European Transition Altitude (HETA) have been going on for many years without resolution. More recently, initiatives to harmonise transition altitudes have arisen within the Nordic States and UK and Ireland. This has led to renewed questions about the possibility to extend this concept to a HETA and notably taking into account the need for harmonisation across the FABs.

The EUROCONTROL Airspace and Navigation Team (ANT), recognising the need for a conclusive study, established the HETA Task Force to consider the impact of a HETA and to make proposals concerning the viability of a regulatory approach. During SSC/41 it was requested by the European Commission to set up a small working group, involving EASA and EUROCONTROL, to carry out a thorough impact assessment of the concept of a harmonised transition altitude. Based on the outcome of HETA TF work EASA published an A-NPA in February 2012. The results of the A-NPA consultation were presented to SSC/47 and the Agency’s proposal ‘proposal to continue a HETA rulemaking task to develop a more robust cost-benefit analysis and operational proposal for it’ was accepted by the Committee.