The military plays an important role in this region, how can the military’s requirements continue to be met?

Jeff PooleJeff Poole, CANSO While the military has an important role to play, we need to overcome the constraints caused by military airspace restrictions for civil air traffic. Some 40 per cent of Middle East airspace is reserved for military use, even when it is not actually using that airspace, thus forcing civil traffic into increasingly congested corridors. This prevents today’s aircraft from fully exploiting their sophisticated technologies; it is inefficient; it poses implications for safety; and it is not environmentally friendly. So, we need to create better coordination and partnership between military and civil aviation and we can learn from experience in other regions. The progressive opening of military airspace to civilian operations in Europe, US, and Asia has been managed responsibly and efficiently to the benefit of both sides. Such opening has allowed: flexible use of airspace; shorter routes; cost savings; fuel efficiencies; and fewer delays. We would like to see far greater efforts made by governments to allow more flexible use of military airspace in the Middle East region as a win-win for both military and civilian users.

Philippe Merlo, Eurocontrol The question may need several replies, due to the political situation in the area. If we limit ourselves to the non-crisis conditions, the notion of FUA and airspace management implemented in Europe to manage the airspace between civil and military needs, and described in global ICAO provisions largely inspired from the developments made in Europe since the 80’s could be a way forward. They have demonstrated the ability to make huge improvements in the ability to handle civilian traffic efficiently without breaching the national sovereignty principles or limiting the possibility of the military to exercise their activities.

Teri BristolTeri Bristol, FAA An open dialog between military and civil aviation authorities is critical to success.  Not only can this dialog promote mutual cooperation and understanding of the military’s mission, but it should also be a forum for engaging the military on issues such as civil access to restricted airspace that is not in use – an ongoing area of concern in the region.

Abdul Wahab Teffaha, AACO Currently, the military restricted airspace in the region is more than 50 per cent of the available airspace. While we acknowledge the national security requirements of individual States, we also believe that airspace can be used by civil aviation when national security does not require its restriction. Implementation of flexible use of airspace  (FUA) is becoming a much needed requirement for the region since airspace is a finite resource that needs to be used efficiently. Advocacy on the value of such collaboration and its multiplier effect on national economies is essential to move things forward.

Hicham BennaniHicham Bennani, ACAC Several projects have been launched to improve the civil-military coordination, but there has been limited success. Many causes have been identified, mainly the difficulty to establish a positive dialogue betweenboth parties. Even where there is dialogue, the establishment of the FUA or the performance of pragmatic measures such as dynamic airspace management have not yet been achieved.
The Arab military coalition established during the first half of 2015 proved the need for effective military coordination throughout the region. In my opinion, national civil aviation authorities should do more to convey the advantages of the dynamic use of the available airspace to the military, underlining not only the impact on the civil aviation sector but also the opportunity that a FUA model presents for military operations.

Peter Mohring, SERCO Civil – Military airspace working groups are needed to optimise FUA and improve capacity during peak times.

Hicham BennaniMohamed Khonji, ICAO Civil/military airspace cooperation is an important priority in the ICAO MID Region. An ICAO civil/military support team was established by the MIDANPIRG/15 meeting, with its primary objective being the implementation of ICAO’s Flexible Use of Airspace (FUA) Concept.
This new approach to increasing the effectiveness of civil/military sharing of national airspace was outlined in ICAO’s Circular 330 on Civil/Military Cooperation in Air Traffic Management, published after a major ICAO civil/military conference held in 2011.

Mohammed Ali Ahmed, BCAA Here in Bahrain, we have very close relations with the military including an open communication channel. We do have flexible use of airspace and dedicated training areas to accommodate the military’s requirements.

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One Response to Military

  1. Samih Shahin says:

    Military are very much aware of their strategic objectives which are more oriented towards safety and security and State sovereignty, on the contrary of civilian entities who push their activities concentrating their effort in accordance with problems facing the aviation industry.(MH17 and MH370 and gwi9525 lessons are not far away)
    How many years, meetings, workshops and conferences have been held to overcome the mutual exploiting of the airspace problem?
    We have to look at FUA benefits as shortening distances, burning less fuel (less impact on environment) and minimizing delays and all this can be translated into airlines better profits without compromising national sovereignty and the military capabilities
    An area like the Middle East should be reviewed on weekly if not daily bases due to the continuous ups and downs of the security in the region; it reaches to the point that at a certain point it is the best of safety, next minute it is like hell. From one side, we are not saying that all States have the same security problems but most of them, having in mind that we cannot select our neighbors
    The dedicated training areas are spread all over the area, and all our discussion is regarding the use of those areas for civil purpose or at least limiting their places and sizes.
    Participating officers in those gatherings, most of the time they have no input, even though they smart, well equipped with experience and knowledge. Sometimes the decision agreed by military in the coordination gatherings may be not backed up by politicians or the military maybe cannot give support to politicians, therefore the recommendation or decision reached could be easily revised and revised and….
    FUA is an excellent concept and it should add effectiveness to the airspace use, through minimizing a lot of the flight cost, delays…etc, but if the members of the gatherings, meetings or the support team are with the hand behind their back, we should not expect that much from them.