EBACE Convention News

Single European Skies on the EBACE 2007 Agenda

 - May 4, 2007, 10:08 AM

The EBACE conference program will today focus on the Single European Sky program and what it will mean for business aircraft operators. The session, to be held from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Hall 7 Salon 1 will be moderated by Bo Redeborn, Eurocontrol’s director of ATM (air traffic management) strategies. He will be joined by guest speakers Steve Zerkowitz of ATM consultancy BluSky Services and Serge Lebourg from Dassault Aviation.

The session will consider the continuing inefficiencies in Europe’s airspace  management. It will outline the technological changes that are being implemented to improve the situation and offer advice to business aircraft operators on how they can be ready to benefit from them.

The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) is actively involved in the SESAR program, through which the Single European Sky concept is to be implemented. While the group certainly welcomes the initiative and supports its objectives, there is still concern about whether it will meet the needs of all airspace users.

“We are getting to the crunch and we are worried that some people are trying to shape [SESAR] without considering the needs of all users,” EBAA chief executive Brian Humphries told EBACE Convention News.

In particular, EBAA is concerned that the airlines will not accept the EGNOS satellite-based augmentation system, which it feels could bring significant efficiencies in the flow of traffic. EGNOS, combined with wide-area augmentation, allows aircraft to make Cat I approaches at virtually any airport, and when an enhanced vision system is added, this capability is increased to Cat II.

“With EGNOS, a business jet can make an approach into a busy airport and then land halfway down the runway [to make way more quickly for other traffic],” explained Humphries. “The problem is that airlines don’t want to pay for this, even though we need the flexibility it brings, and we are now at a very critical stage in a SESAR design phase which has reached an impasse.”