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EU countries’ inflexibility hinders long-awaited ATC reforms

There is a lot of logic behind air traffic control (ATC) reforms aimed at creating a ‘Single European Sky’ (SES), a goal first presented exactly ten years ago. Airlines point out it will cut flight delays, reduce CO2 emissions and save billions of Euros for airlines and passengers alike. However of equal importance is the fact that the SES is being developed in tandem with NextGen, the USA’s equivalent system, so that the two can be integrated and run seamlessly together. The Single European Sky (SES) initiative and NextGen are possibly the two biggest Air Traffic Management (ATM) technology modification projects in the history of global aviation. New technology presently being deployed across the United States’ National Airspace System (NAS) and the Eurozone will permit Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) to freely exchange data communication between Flight Management Systems (FMS) and pilots to allow them to fly more fuel-efficient flight paths.
The United Kingdom’s Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP), National Air Traffic Services (NATS), indicate that nearly 3,000 aircraft fly between the United States, Canada and Europe. That figure will rise further, with the FAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) indicating global air traffic will likely double over the next twenty years. More recently the NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC) in the United States and the Single European Sky ATM Research Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) have included members who work for private and public organizations to act as advisors and overseers. This has helped to make sure that the flight procedures, equipage mandates, pilot protocols, ATCs, maintenance technicians and everyone who is involved in helping planes to fly anywhere are dealing with systems in these two areas of the world which are similar.
However after a meeting between European Union Transport Ministers in Rome on Friday 7th November, the new European Transport Commissioner, Violeta Bulc, has called for EU countries to demonstrate more flexibility in integrating air corridors, saying “We cannot deal with a reality based mainly around international flights with national systems,” she said, according to a statement after the meeting…. Be flexible, we will find the right compromise.” The meeting has hopefully laid some foundations for the meeting on 3rd December when a draft of the reform will be presented to the European Council in Brussels. However once again the major stumbling block may not be the visible portion of the iceberg, but what lies beneath the water. Air traffic controllers are already arguing that the reforms could hit jobs, particularly Air traffic control unions in France and Germany, who are saying that the proposed changes are predominantly aimed at cutting costs and will likely affect safety in European skies, which are among the busiest in the world.

Friday April 12, 2024
Honeywell and ITP Aero to set up an authorised service centre for Honeywell’s F124-GA-200 engines © Honeywell
Honeywell, in collaboration with ITP Aero, an aerospace propulsion company, has unveiled intentions to establish a new authorised service centre for Honeywell’s F124-GA-200 aircraft engines. Situated in Madrid, the Ajalvir site of ITP Aero will operate as a ... Read More »
Friday April 12, 2024
Embraer and ENAER have signed two new collaborative agreements © Embraer
Embraer and ENAER (National Aeronautical Company of Chile) have revealed two collaborative agreements encompassing the A-29 Super Tucano, the C-390 Millennium defence aircraft and commercial aircraft. This cooperation will expand Embraer’s supplier and s... Read More »
Friday April 12, 2024
Lufthansa and UFO have agreed on a long-term collective wage agreement for cabin employees © Lufthansa Group
Lufthansa and the UFO union have agreed on a new collective agreement for approximately 19,000 cabin employees of Lufthansa Airlines. The core of the agreement is a wage increase of a total of 16.5% (with interest effect 17.4%) in several stages over the next ... Read More »
Friday April 12, 2024
V2500 engine on wing © Pratt & Whitney
AAR CORP, has announced an extension and expansion of its V2500 engine component distribution agreement with Sumitomo Precision Products. Under this agreement, AAR has extended its exclusive distribution rights for the V2500 pneumatic starter and starter contr... Read More »
Friday April 12, 2024
Olympic Air has taken delivery of one new ATR72-600 aircraft © Abelo
Abelo, the Irish-based lessor, has announced the lease of a new ATR72-600 aircraft to Olympic Air, a member of the AEGEAN Group. The aircraft, part of Abelo’s order of thirty ATR aircraft, has just been delivered to Olympic Air. This strategic addition w... Read More »
Friday April 12, 2024
eVTOL aircraft INTEGRITY © Crisalion Mobility
Spanish Crisalion Mobility has entered into a strategic agreement with Swedish vertiport company Kookiejar, renowned for its extensive expertise in developing air mobility solutions. This collaboration aims to jointly develop vertiports, crucial infrastructure... Read More »
Thursday April 11, 2024
Matthijs-Hutsebaut has been promoted to Regional VP Europe © ExecuJet MRO Europe
ExecuJet MRO Services Europe, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dassault Aviation, has named Matthijs Hutsebaut as Regional Vice President for Europe. Hutsebaut takes over from Christophe de Coppel, who now serves as Dassault Aviation’s MRO Sales Director for Eur... Read More »
Thursday April 11, 2024
Representatives from Sky Airline and Safran Nacelles signed the new deal at MRO Americas in Chicago © Safran
Safran Nacelles and Sky Airline, the Chilean low-cost carrier, have signed a multi-year service agreement for the airline’s Airbus A320neo-family fleet, powered by CFM International LEAP-1A turbofan engines. Under this agreement, Sky Airline gains access... Read More »
Thursday April 11, 2024
The Japan Coast Guard has placed an additional order for three H225 helicopters © Airbus
The Japan Coast Guard (JCG) has placed an additional order for three H225 helicopters, increasing its total H225 fleet to 18. As the largest Super Puma operator in Japan, the Coast Guard received three H225s in December 2023 and one in February 2024 to bolster... Read More »
Thursday April 11, 2024
A member of Boeing’s maintenance and ground operations systems uses the UL101 Troubleshooter to perform a bleed air check on a Boeing 757 © CTRL Systems
Barfield, a subsidiary of Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) in the Americas, has entered into an agreement with CTRL Systems to distribute its UL101 Aviation Troubleshooter. Barfield will serve as CTRL Systems’ primary... Read More »
Thursday April 11, 2024
Air Canada’s A320- family aircraft will get a major cockpit and avionics system upgrade © Airbus
Airbus has signed an agreement with Canada’s largest airline, Air Canada, for a significant cockpit and avionics system upgrade package for its A320-family in-service aircraft. The multi-year upgrade programme encompasses the enhanced electronic instrume... Read More »
Thursday April 11, 2024
Fokker Services Group
Fokker Services Americas, a subsidiary of Fokker Services Group (FSG)and Collins Aerospace have signed a FlightSense® On-Site Support agreement for Collins’ integrated drive generators (IDGs). The agreement puts both companies on a path forward to meet the ... Read More »
Thursday April 11, 2024
The ECIP deal ensures support for 41 E175s from Horizon Air's fleet operating at the company hub in Portland, Oregon © Embraer
Embraer and Horizon Air have signed an agreement for the Embraer collaborative inventory planning (ECIP) programme, a bespoke expendables spare parts inventory management programme tailored to assist customers in slashing operational costs by optimising invent... Read More »
Thursday April 11, 2024
Pratt & Whitney will invest US$20 million to amplify the MRO capabilities of its West Palm Beach engine centre for GTF engines © Pratt & Whitney
Pratt & Whitney has revealed a US$20 million (£15.7 million) investment to amplify the maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) capabilities of its West Palm Beach engine centre for GTF engines. This enhancement aims to accommodate a 40% surge in capacity ... Read More »
Wednesday April 10, 2024
VAS CEO Tommy Hughes (l) and Fritz Beiner, SVP Procurement at SR Technics, at MRO Americas, Chicago © AviTrader
VAS Aero Services and SR Technics have announced the extension of their collaborative supply programme agreement for PW4000-100” engine maintenance operations. This extension further cements the strong working relationship between the two industry leaders, e... Read More »
Wednesday April 10, 2024
At MRO Americas, in Chicago, Rhinestahl has announced its intention to acquire HYDRO Systems © HYDRO Systems
Rhinestahl Corporation has announced its intention to acquire HYDRO Systems KG, marking a significant step towards consolidating strengths in the aviation support equipment and services sector. The plans for this strategic acquisition were unveiled during a pr... Read More »
Wednesday April 10, 2024
Liebherr-Aerospace Saline will become the exclusive international distributor of the quick conversion passenger-to-freighter cargo aircraft solution – also known as Class F Quick Change © Liebherr Aerospace
Liebherr Aerospace Saline (Liebherr), Michigan (U.S.A.) and LHColus Tecnologia, based in São José dos Campos (Brazil), have signed an agreement that declares Liebherr-Aerospace Saline as the exclusive international distributor of the quick conversion passeng... Read More »
Wednesday April 10, 2024
LEAP-1A engine assembly in Villaroche, France
CFM International has dispatched the inaugural production LEAP-1A engines equipped with its new reverse bleed system (RBS) to Airbus, anticipating entry into commercial service by mid-year. This new production configuration hardware will also undergo installat... Read More »
Wednesday April 10, 2024
Kellstrom has been appointed worldwide commercial aftermarket distributor for Libellule Monde (LBM) © Shutterstock
Kellstrom Aerospace has been appointed as the worldwide commercial aftermarket distributor for LBM (Libellule Monde Inc.). LBM specialises in commercial aircraft interior placards, interior deco films, exterior markings, erosion protection and livery for a var... Read More »
Wednesday April 10, 2024
Joramco will perform C-checks on three of LATAM's B787 aircraft © Joramco
Joramco, an independent commercial aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility, has been awarded a contract to conduct heavy maintenance for LATAM Airlines, the largest airline in Latin America. The agreement was announced during MRO Americas 2024... Read More »

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