Comms projects underpinning SES win significant funding from EC

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The A6 Alliance of Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs), has been awarded funding by the European Commission’s Innovation and Networks Agency (INEA) for two projects underpinning the future success of the Single European Sky.

The funding will support work to define the best model for provision of Pan-European Network Services (PENS) 2 and Data Link Services (DLS) – the two main communication infrastructures required to modernise and improve Europe’s air traffic management system. The A6 Alliance and Eurocontrol are discussing a co-operation on both studies.

The Bid Consortium included ENAV (Italy), DFS (Germany), NATS (UK), ENAIRE (Spain), DSNA (France) and LFV (Sweden).  The bid is based on a full collaborative approach with other ANSPs and was also supported by the ANSPs of Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Switzerland, Malta, Greece and Cyprus.

A Consultation Platform has been established to ensure a wide range of stakeholders are involved throughout the project.

The work includes two main activities. NATS is leading work to address the European ground to ground data communication infrastructure, known as PENS (Pan-European Network Services), and DFS is leading work on the European air-to-ground data link communication infrastructure.  Work to assess options for pan-European services will include technical, organisational and governance requirements; it will also consider the most appropriate business model for such services, including a full cost-benefit analysis.

Ignacio González of ENAIRE, Chair of the A6 Alliance Steering Board, said: “We are delighted to have secured this funding from INEA. This work will play a key role in helping to define a model for two key aspects of Europe’s future Air Traffic Management system.  In doing so, it will bring us closer to the Single European Sky, with more efficient and even safer services.

“INEA has awarded a high level of funding, which demonstrates their belief in the value of this industry-led approach. We are now looking forward to working with a wide range of stakeholders as we progress this work.”

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 (Poland) also joined the Alliance earlier this year.

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.

The EU’s announcement is available at