The path towards the Single European Sky
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The European aviation sector can be seen as a large technical system, which is currently creating a path to-wards the Single European Sky (SES). This is an ambitious initiative aiming to reduce the costs, increase the airspace capacity, reduce the aviation’s share in environmental pollution and increase the safety level. In order to accomplish this, the entire aviation sector has to cooperate and collaborate with each other. This thesis’ aims are threefold. First, to investigate how the existing infrastructure is influencing the aviation sector in its approach towards the SES. Second, how the current approach, taken by the actors in the aviation sector, is influencing the progression towards the SES. And third, how the institutional organizations, such as the European Commission (EC), SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU), EUROCONTROL and the Dutch government, are influencing the aviation industry in their activities towards the SES. The large technical system’s theory and the theory of path creation form the basis of this research. Combined their explanation of progression is tested by means of a single case study. To be more precise, qualitative research methods, like semi-structured interviews and scientific documents are used to gather the data. The analysis of the gathered data is conducted based on a scientific qualitative data analysis technique called coding. These techniques help reveal insights from the case under investigation. Based on this method, this research shows that both the LTS and the interplay between the institutions and the industry are causing some bottlenecks that need to be overcome by the European aviation sector. Furthermore, it is important for the Dutch aviation industry to stay involved in the realization towards the SES to ensure the national interests are not left behind along the path creation process.