International Relationships

In the SESAR CEO Survey 2016 Air Traffic Management magazine has comprehensively surveyed the senior leadership within the European industry on SESAR deployment and the prospects for success.
The Commission’s Aviation Strategy includes the progressive extension of the Single European Sky (SES) area through bilateral and multi-lateral aviation agreements. What do you see as the advantages or indeed disadvantages of extending SESAR’s reach in this way?
Johan Decuyper, Belgocontrol The progressive extension of SESAR outside the European Union (EU) and Europe is recommended for the long-term interoperability between different regions. Such extension should only happen when SES is a success within Europe. For the time being, the implementation of SES through Functional Airspace Blocks (FAB) and SESAR is still a huge challenge.

Read the SESAR CEO Survey 2016

Klaus-Dieter Scheurle, DFS The aviation industry is a global industry with aircraft as a modern means of transport connecting people from London to New York, from Frankfurt to Beijing and from Brussels to Delhi. When talking about interoperability within the context of the SES, we actually need to think bigger since our customers need to achieve interoperability wherever they fly around the globe.
Maurice Georges, DSNA SESAR is first of all a European initiative within the SES. Nevertheless, it has been since its beginning profoundly connected to non-EU global partners, in particular within ICAO. The basis on which to extend SESAR to non-EU partners could be significantly different: for neighbouring countries it definitely makes sense, notably within the European ICAO region, while at a global level, it is either a co-ordination issue within ICAO, with both relatively subject to voluntary business co-operation arrangements between EU and non-EU actors.
Tanel Rautits, EANS Any harmonisation within the SESAR sphere is a good thing. It is complicated to get it done through bilateral or multilateral agreements, but there is no faster and better way.
Eamonn Brennan, IAA The advantages of extending the SES area outside of the EU through bilateral and multi-lateral aviation agreements will include an extended view of the network operational picture, harmonised rules, standards and procedures over a greater geographic area and increased reach for systems integration. However, this must happen without compromising ICAO requirements.
Kornél Szepessy, HungaroControl European ATM can only improve if the non-EU partners are involved in the technological R&D activities and their deployment. As a result, the gap between the levels of development in a pan-European context is narrowing. I believe pan-European co-operation remains a key factor in development.
Martin Rolfe, NATS We are in a global industry – our customers operate around the world – and just as SESAR has developed to meet the needs of the European industry, so other initiatives such as NextGen are developing elsewhere around the world designed to meet the needs of the market they serve.
It is essential that initiatives such as SESAR and NextGen work to ensure the emergence of an integrated global network, and do not drive competing technologies or they will commit many of our customers to expensive double equipage for a generation of aircraft and double standards in ATM.
Morten Dambaek, Naviair It’s important to tie the air traffic business closer together via agreements and international organisations, like the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO).
Flying is a cross-border activity, so there is a fundamental need for homogenous rules and procedures all over the world, especially for countries that are adjacent to one another, like for instance Denmark and Sweden, where free route airspace (FRA) has been deployed since 2011 in the unified Danish-Swedish airspace.
And within the near future we will expand FRA into the rest of the Nordic area through the Borealis cooperation with Avinor, EANS, Finavia, IAA, ISAVIA, LFV, LSG and NATS. All in line with the latest Deployment Programme 2015 from the SDM.
Magda Jaworska, PANSA When asking airspace users this question, the reply will be unanimous: aviation shall have no borders and each system/service shall talk the same way to crew and avionics.
Ultimately, yes. And that’s what the SES/NextGen agreements and ICAO Aviation System Block Upgrades (ASBU) are being designed for. SESAR infrastructural and operational solutions might become more natural to external partners than the entire SES expansion, because they are less tied-up with the fundamental issue ‘is ATM to become a market or shall it be regulated in each and every aspect?’ I believe that this level playing field should be closely monitored by the EC.
While looking outside aviation core areas one may have the impression that ANSPs do not need any advanced regional programme – ICAO and ISO standards are absolutely sufficient. But the point is in the source of progress. In the Europe of two decades ago, the manufacturing industry was also setting the pace of infrastructural development, collecting ideas from the mosaic of users and converting them into solutions ready-to-tailor.
What SESAR offers is much closer involvement of ANSPs in the ATM systems development, driving long-lasting alliances with manufacturers. Looking from the SESAR perspective, it is better to have partners outside Europe with the same progress plan. But will the external parties select SES/SESAR partnerships or will they prefer a simple acquisition of solutions that have been designed within the programme? That will be their main business decision.
Cârnu Fănică, ROMATSA The involvement of European countries that are not members of the EU should be pursued, in order to facilitate the improvement of civil aviation safety and interoperability throughout the world. The extension of the SES as part of the EU external aviation policy will improve the global connectivity which is an important driver of trade and tourism, and which directly contributes to economic growth and job creation.
Anders Kirsebom, Avinor The Aviation Strategy doesn´t really cover the role of the ANSPs in the future. Anyway, I am of the opinion that an extension of the SES through bi-lateral or multi-lateral agreements is a positive initiative, which would mean more added value to our customers.
Georgi Peev, BULATSA Extending SESAR’s reach through bilateral and multi-lateral aviation agreements represents a progressive extension of the SES area which would bring synchronised deployment with a larger geographical scope. Definite advantages would be better interoperability and improved performance of the network, however the differences in regulatory contexts and the associated levels of ambition are certainly a challenge.

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