A6 welcomes EU Institutions engagement with operational stakeholders to develop new concept of airspace architecture

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The A6 Alliance actively participated in the workshop on the Airspace Architecture Study organised by the SESAR Joint Undertaking on July 5th and 6th in Brussels, welcoming the opportunity for all operational stakeholders and manufacturers to set the terms for a common vision toward the evolution of the Air Traffic Management system, with the aim to address traffic growth and future challenges building on new technologies, digitisation and space-based services.

A6 representative, Iacopo Prissinotti from ENAV S.p.A., presented the A6 Alliance’s vision of upper airspace within Europe in which aircraft trajectories both for safety (deconfliction) and efficiency would be handled through consistent and widespread application of advanced ATM tools, supported by harmonised airspace classifications and rules. He argued that the goal is to ensure that flights within the upper airspace are not trajectory constrained by national boundaries or ATM service provider and should be highly resilient to perturbations that could occur through technical failures, adverse weather or social/industrial issues. High degrees of cooperation between all actors, together with intelligent regulation and political support represent the key enablers to drive a highly efficient network.

The A6 Alliance agrees with the European Court of Auditors’ assessment that the High Level Goals initially set for Single European Sky (SES) initiative are no longer applicable, and thus will support the European Commission on setting a new vision with ambitious but achievable goals for all operational stakeholders.

During the workshop all stakeholders acknowledged that the SESAR programme and the ATM Masterplan are the building blocks for the future ATM system in Europe and that the Airspace Architecture study should build on this existing work and align with it.

A6 Strategy Board Chair, Jonathan Astill from NATS said: “The ATM system within Europe, one of the most advanced in the world and which safely manages millions of flights a year, constitutes an important and valuable asset that needs to be protected. Through the SESAR Programme, the A6 Alliance has identified and already started deploying new operational concepts and technologies that are the fundamental enablers in achieving the SES objectives. Significant investments are already being made in new tools and technologies as well as in training of personnel, thus enhancing safety, capacity and efficiency in the coming years.”  Political support is now needed to boost and implement the industrial strategy, encouraging cooperation between all aviation partners and paving the way to performance-based regulation with the right incentives to drive the necessary change.