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IAA to Play Key Role in Ground-Breaking Technical Collaboration to Transform Europes Airspace Infrastructure

10 Dec 2014


10 December 2014: The modernisation of European airspace took a major step forward with the appointment of a unique aviation industry partnership to coordinate and synchronise €3bn worth of upgrades to the continent’s air traffic management infrastructure.

As part of a consortium of airlines, airports and air navigation services providers (ANSPs), the COOPANS Alliance has been successfully appointed to the European Commission-mandated role of SESAR Deployment Manager, and will be responsible to plan and coordinate a wholesale modernisation of European airspace.

The IAA is a founding member of the COOPANS Alliance, which also comprises of the ANSPs from Denmark (Naviair), Sweden (LFV), Austro Control (Austria) and Croatia Control. Our involvement is coordinated within the A6 Deployment Manager Alliance – a grouping of 11 ANSPs from across Europe.

Eamonn Brennan, Chief Executive of the IAA said: “We are delighted with this development and confident that as members of the COOPANS Alliance, we can collectively help to ensure that Europe’s air traffic management system is fit for the 21st Century. This is another great development for COOPANS – a grouping of like-minded ANSPs, which is delivering significant cost, safety and operational efficiencies to both ANSPs and airspace users: real cooperation and real results”.

Europe’s fragmented airspace structure is inefficient and costs more to operate than equivalent regions around the world. The European Commission’s Single European Sky initiative, of which SESAR deployment is an important pillar, will improve efficiency, lower delays and raise environmental performance.

The modernisation is not only vital for the future competitiveness of Europe’s aviation industry, but for the wider health of its economy.  Aviation supports 11.7 million jobs in Europe, equating to one person in every 40 people employed, generating €452 billion per annum of European GDP.

However, with air traffic forecast to increase by 50% by 2035 to approximately 14.4 million flights, Europe’s aging air traffic control technologies and infrastructure will begin to undermine its position as a leading aviation hub if nothing is done to address it.

The SESAR Deployment Manager will ensure that new technologies and solutions that have already been tested and validated through the SESAR Joint Undertaking are delivered into everyday operations across Europe, delivering significant benefits to airspace users and the environment. The SESAR Deployment Alliance, comprised of the A6 Alliance of ANSPs, the A4 airlines and the SESAR-related Deployment Airport Operators Group (SDAG), will coordinate and synchronise for an initial 6-year period the work of ensuring Europe maintains its competitive edge.

Commissioner Violeta Bulc said: "This agreement is a great achievement for EU aviation, forever changing Europe's air navigation system, making it smarter, cheaper, greener, and safer. It also marks an important step towards the accomplishment of the Single European Sky. These projects will translate into economic benefits for the whole EU with a contribution of over €400 bn to its GDP, the creation of over 300,000 new jobs and saving 50 million tons of CO2 emissions."

Massimo Garbini, the former CEO of Italian ANSP ENAV, has been appointed Managing Director of the SESAR Deployment Alliance. He commented: “We are pleased that the Commission has selected this unique cross-industry collaboration to drive the essential ATM modernisation of European airspace. I guarantee that we will do everything we can to deliver the results Europe needs”.

The Single European Sky is one of the European Commission’s main transport initiatives, designed to improve the way we manage Europe’s airspace so as to minimise fuel burn, reduce unnecessary costs and make the most of Europe’s airport capacity.

For more information contact:

Tony Lane,

Communications Executive IAA

Tel: +353 86 791 1864