Eurocontrol’s Maastricht Upper Area Control Center (Muac) is supplying air traffic data to the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) in a project designed to better coordinate civil and military flights in some of Europe’s busiest airspace. Eurocontrol said the data-sharing system has started initial operations with 11 military controller and two supervisory positions.
Single European Sky
European Union member states failed to meet a December 4 deadline to begin operating regional air traffic management blocks as required by Single European Sky (SES) regulations dating to March 2004. Airline trade groups joined in condemning the states over the missed deadline.
Airbus and its air traffic management subsidiaries, together with systems integration company EADS Cassidian, said they will participate as industry partners in seven European flight trials set to begin early next year through 2014 under the direction of the Single European Sky ATM Joint Undertaking (Sesar JU).
The Single European Sky ATM research program (SESAR), developed to unite all European Union air traffic controllers under one operating system, has announced another move toward implementation, with the recent update of the region’s ATM strategic plan. Updates to the original 2009 plan are designed to deploy necessary ATM technologies and procedures through 2030.
The European Commission (EC) plans to propose new legislation to accelerate implementation of the Single European Sky (SES) program and is threatening legal action against national governments that have failed to fulfill their obligations to the far-reaching air traffic management (ATM) reorganization. In an October 11 speech in Cyprus, EC transport commissioner Siim Kallas acknowledged that SES “is not delivering” on its goals of halving ATM costs while tripling airspace capacity.
The reality is pretty obvious: managing fewer flights can only help European air traffic control meet the tough targets that were designed to prepare it for a wholesale transformation to a radical space-based regime. The latest statistics show that Europe-wide, the en-route delay in 2012 is now 0.45 minutes per flight–well down from the figure last year of 1.1 minutes and already lower than the 0.5 minutes target for 2014.
Participation in the next-generation European airspace system will require business aircraft operators to invest in new equipment–to the tune of some $3.45 billion between now and 2024–as the concept of “first-come, first-served” is gradually retired, Patrick Ky, executive director of the Single European Sky ATM Research (Sesar) Joint Undertaking, told EBACE attendees yesterday.
The annual ATC Global conference and exhibition, held earlier this month in Amsterdam, attempted to bring into sharper focus the vision of a Single European Sky (SES).
The FAA and a group of European air navigation service providers signed a joint statement of purpose to work toward a “future interoperable aviation system that is operationally driven and technology enhanced.” Europe and the U.S. are both undertaking ATC modernization programs: Sesar (Single European Sky ATM Research) in Europe and NextGen in the U.S. Under the agreement, the parties will coordinate on areas such as systems implementation, program management and transitioning to these new systems.