EUROCONTROL and ACI EUROPE sign Memorandum of Understanding for enhanced co-operation to aviation’s sustainable future

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Eurocontrol Headquarters in Brussels © André Orban

Eamonn Brennan, Director General of EUROCONTROL, and Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI EUROPE, have today signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding to enhance their co-operation as the two organisations work towards European aviation’s future-facing stability, safety, and sustainability.

With a long history of successful collaboration in many areas of mutual concern, the intergovernmental organisation representing 41 Member States and 2 Comprehensive Agreement States, and the trade association bringing together all of Europe’s airports share many commonalities as aviation moves into a new chapter – in particular a shared focus on operational efficiency and sustainability.

The Memorandum, which replaces an existing agreement dating from 2008, builds a framework of co-operation around 2 pillars:

  • Efficient air transport through increased integration between operations at and around airport platforms and Air Traffic Management, moving to collaborative decision making.

This is essential to have operations on time and make better use of existing capacity and unlock latent capacity – both on the ground and in the air. Such integration will ultimately result in a one-on-one information exchange between the Network Operation Plan (NOP) and Airport Operation Plan (AOP). It will be delivered through the continued cooperation between ACI EUROPE together with its member airports, and the EUROCONTROL Network Manager as well as through the continued participation of EUROCONTROL in ACI EUROPE’s Technical, Operations & Safety Committee (TOSC)[1] . The network functions, delivered with the support of the Network Manager, form a key pillar of the EU Single European Sky project.

  • Sustainable air transport, through the continued development and outreach of Airport Carbon Accreditation, the global standard for carbon management and reduction at airports, as well as the continued rollout of EUROCONTROL’s Collaborative Environmental Management (CEM), which provides process guidance through which airports are able to reduce their environmental impact in close cooperation with their operational stakeholders.

Olivier Jankovec said: “ For Europe’s airports, recovering from COVID-19 and the imperative to ‘Build Back Better’ means chasing every opportunity to increase their operational efficiency and reduce their environmental footprint. Over the past years, EUROCONTROL has come to play an increasingly important role in supporting not just airports but the whole aviation eco-system in that direction. The challenges we face in progressing further and the interconnected nature of aviation means enhanced collaboration and integration are key. This is precisely what this new agreement between ACI EUROPE and EUROCONTROL is about. We look forward to our continued collaboration.” 

Eamonn Brennan said: “Flights were down 44% last year across Europe to 6.2 million, whilst at the same time passenger numbers were down 59% – a loss of 1.4 billion. EUROCONTROL is focused on supporting European aviation and is working closely with airports to deliver enhanced operational efficiency and sustainable solutions as we recover from the pandemic. Time and again our organisations have shown that working together in areas as diverse as innovation, R&D, urban air mobility, and optimising performance at all levels, reaps even greater benefits for aviation. We look forward to strengthening our collaboration even further for the benefit of the wider aviation network as a whole.”

Brussels, 27 January 2022

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