What is the issue?
Air Traffic Management - ATM - the combination of navigation, surveillance and communication for the safe and efficient execution of a flight. More than 10 years ago, the European Commission decided to launch a major initiative, the Single European Sky (SES), to modernise and restructure air traffic management in Europe, which includes a change to the classical concept of operations. The changes to the system also have major implications for the governance and financing of European aviation as well as the restructuring of the ATM-related institutions. This huge task is still on-going and the adoption of SES-II legislative package in 2009, introducing a more-performance driven approach, was the latest step to defragment European skies.
How is ECA involved?
ECA is represented on the relevant institutional bodies (the European Commission, EUROCONTROL and EASA) that make decisions or have influence on the future Air Traffic Management systems. ECA is also present in technical working groups, including numerous EUROCONTROL Teams (Network Operations Team, Airport Operations Team, etc.) and working groups (such as APDSG, ATM Procedures Development Sub-Group). It also contributes to some projects, e.g. Wake Net 3 and SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research), one of the largest European research projects ever.
Why is the issue important to ECA?
As the front-end users, pilots are at the heart of the air traffic management system. It is important for pilots, who are safety professionals, to be involved in the development of new systems, to provide their 'niche' operational expertise vis-à-vis new technologies and equipment, proposed procedures and to support the newly-created European network manager. Pilots and air traffic controllers are forming more and more a cooperative duo, and together, they constitute the human link between increasingly automated air traffic management systems. Issues such as maintaining and improving safety levels in the new system, proper safety reporting systems, the definition of a future concept of operations, the setting of performance targets (including environmental measures), change management etc.. are all issues that directly affect today's and tomorrow's daily work of any pilot in Europe.
Who is responsible?
- Executive Board Director: Álvaro Gammicchia
- Staff member: Loïc Michel
- Working Group: Air Traffic Management & Aerodromes (ATMA WG)
- Chairman: Paul Vissers / Wolfgang Starke