Eurocontrol forms new partnership with SDA to drive modernisation and digitalisation of European Air Traffic Management

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Members of the SESAR Deployment Alliance – Airspace Users, Airports, Air Navigation Service Providers – and the EUROCONTROL Network Manager have today submitted a joint letter to the European Commission proposing to form a new partnership to manage the modernisation & digitalisation of a sustainable European Air Traffic Management (ATM) system.

“I am delighted to have signed a letter to DG MOVE proposing this new partnership between EUROCONTROL and the members of the SESAR Deployment Alliance. With an ongoing capacity crunch causing air traffic flow management delays that are 53% above those of 2017, it is crucial to accelerate the deployment of new technologies that can modernise and digitalise air traffic management. This partnership is the right way forward to enable us to do that,” said Eamonn Brennan, Director General of EUROCONTROL.

The European Commission is expected to launch a Call for Proposal in the first half of 2020 to put in place a new partnership for Deployment as of 1 January 2021.

“While progress monitoring shows that 72% of what is required by the Commission Implementing Regulation on Pilot Common Projects is already completed or ongoing, further significant investments are needed to accelerate the air traffic management modernisation and digitalisation. This the new partnership will ensure stakeholders buy-in and strong programme management to timely deliver a sustainable European ATM,” said Roberta Neri, Chief Executive Officer of ENAV and Chairperson of the A6 Steering Board.

Members of the SESAR Deployment Alliance (SDA) and the EUROCONTROL Network Manager believe that together they will be in the best position to drive forward the translation of the SESAR vision into implementation.

“Building on the deployment momentum already achieved by the existing SDA members, and adding the expertise from the EUROCONTROL Network Manager, the new partnership has the potential to ensure an efficient and effective, operationally-led and performance-based approach at a pan-European network level,” said Klaus Froese of Lufthansa.

“I am thrilled that ACI EUROPE will continue to coordinate the engagement and participation of Europe’s airports to the deployment of SESAR. Over the past 5 years, airports have invested several hundred millions of euros to get better integrated into the ATM network through innovative digital processes & technologies. Going forward with the next stage of the SESAR Deployment Manager is crucial to keep modernising the European aviation system. This is about achieving the efficiency gains that will allow us to improve the passengers’ experience and the sustainability of our operations,” said Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI EUROPE.

Key challenges for the new Deployment Manager will include an agreed, synchronised and co-ordinated deployment (incl. infrastructure) across the European ATM network to deliver the network-wide performance improvements required now and for the future. This includes the industrialisation of interoperable solutions and the continued synchronisation and defragmentation of investments as well as further improvements in the alignment of stakeholder consultation and co-operative decision-making ensuring the continued involvement, engagement and buy-in of all relevant operational stakeholders.

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