The leaders of Europe’s leading air navigation service providers (ANSPs) have renewed their commitment to work together to help modernise Europe’s air traffic management system – and expanded their agreement to draw in other European ANSP groupings.
The Memorandum of Cooperation signed in 2011 by members of the original A6 Alliance – which united the ANSPs of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK and the Noracon consortium (Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Norway and Sweden) – has been revised to enable even greater cooperation to help deliver the Single European Sky ATM Research programme (SESAR).
The MoC now also includes as members the COOPANS Alliance (Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Ireland and Sweden) and the B4 consortium (Czech Republic, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia). PANSA, of Poland, has in the meantime also become a full member of the A6 Alliance.
SESAR is the technology strand of the European Commission’s Single European Sky programme and is coordinating the development and deployment of new tools and concepts that will help improve the way Europe’s airspace is managed, making it safer, cheaper and more environmentally friendly. It will also help to increase capacity, paving the way for forecast traffic growth.
The revised agreement reflects changes to the external environment, as SESAR Phase 1 nears its conclusion, SESAR 2020 launches and shifts focus towards the operational deployment of technologies. Different groupings will participate in the A6 Alliance for different elements of the SESAR programme and the A6 Alliance is part of the Supervisory Board for the SESAR Deployment Manager.
Ignacio González, air navigation director of ENAIRE and chairman of the A6 Alliance Steering Board, said: “SESAR is a crucial programme that will significantly improve the way we manage Europe’s airspace, making it better for passengers and citizens and modernising our ATM system to underpin the requirements of the European economy.
“The A6 Alliance is uniquely placed to help make sure this happens in the most effective way and I am delighted that more ANSPs are joining this cooperation. This revised agreement demonstrates the commitment of a strong coalition of Europe’s ANSPs to work together to ensure SESAR deliver real benefits to our customers and their passengers.”
The MoC sets out the arrangements under which Members will cooperate in areas such as identifying and adopting best practice across Members, agreeing common methods of operation, benchmarking performance and optimising resources.
- The A6 Alliance was formed by the six ANSP members of the SESAR JU – ENAIRE (Spain), DFS (Germany), DSNA (France), ENAV (Italy), NATS (UK) and NORACON – a consortium including Austro Control (Austria), AVINOR (Norway), EANS (Estonia), Finavia (Finland), IAA (Ireland), LFV (Sweden) and Naviair (Denmark). PANSA of Poland is also now full member
- COOPANS is an international partnership between the air navigation service providers of Austria (Austro Control), Croatia (Croatia Control), Denmark (Naviair), Ireland (Irish Aviation Authority) and Sweden (LFV). Thales is a chosen supplier (industry partner) for COOPANS. COOPANS partners operate a world class, safe and cost-effective ATM system. COOPANS has adopted a common managerial approach, whereby the five ANSPs act as one organisation together with Thales with a focus on common success.
- B4 is an international consortium of air navigation service providers of Poland (PANSA), Lithuania (Oro Navigacija), Czech Republic (ANS CR), and Slovak Republic (LPS). The goal of B4 is the provision of common value within the SESAR 2020 Programe.
- Collectively the A6 Alliance members control more than 70% of European air traffic and 72% of the investment in the European Air Traffic Management infrastructure of the future.
- Seven of Europe’s nine Functional Airspace Blocks (FABs) – the geographic pillar of SES – are now represented within the wider A6 Alliance. These include: Danish/Swedish FAB; Baltic FAB; FAB Central Europe; FABEC; North European FAB; UK/Ireland FAB and South West FAB