Frank Brenner, Eurocontrol’s Director General (pictured above) revealed the agreement covers the exchange of flight data, updated flight plan information, and airport departure planning information.
“It means if an aircraft departs Paris information will immediately be fed into Dubai giving them no-surprise, lead time for high precision planning and the same is true in the opposite direction. This is all in line with the ICAO concept of networks within networks,” explained Brenner.
The Eurocontrol DG said the agreement, which has been a year in the making and which covers reliable take-off and overflight times, will increase efficiency and “help address the current lack of predictability of traffic between the Middle East and Europe which adversely affects capacity.”
Brenner said the agreement would also go some way to easing capacity crunch in UAE air space and enhance safety by using the data to avoid holding patterns. “With traffic between Europe and the Middle East predicted to grow at 3.6% a year over the next decade at least, it’s clear that to deliver efficient air traffic services, we need to improve co-operation and information exchange between the two regions. This agreement will contribute to the ICAO Global Air Traffic Flow Management Concept as part of the Global Air Navigation Plan and help establish closer links between the Air Traffic Flow and Capacity Units in Europe and the Gulf.”
The UAE agreement is the second of its type signed by Eurocontrol – the first was with the USA’s FAA and a third followed at ATC Global, this time with Brazil’s civil aviation authorities.
The accord was immediately welcomed by industry players including Thales. Its Director of ATM Strategy, Todd Donovan, qualified his welcome by saying that while the agreement would be beneficial by allowing increased flight data visibility and predictability, “a regional means of looking at traffic flow” would be needed in the long run. Donovan said increasingly customers were asking for tools to more relevantly analyse and get the most out of data provided. “There’s increasing awareness of the need to understand the impact the data can have on efficiency of airport operations, for aircraft movements and environmental considerations,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ahmed Al Jallaf, GCAA’s Assistant Director General, said with the EUROCONTROL deal now under its belt, the authority would be turning its attention southwards. “We now hope to strengthen our collaboration in Asia Pacific to give us better predictability to manage fleets efficiently,” he said.
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