About the Network Manager

Network functions

The European Commission’s Single European Sky (SES II) foresaw the creation of a Network Manager as a centralised function. The Network Manager is the operational arm of the SES and manages air traffic management network functions (airspace design, flow management) as well as scarce resources (transponder code allocations, radio frequencies), as defined in Commission Regulation (EU) N° 677/2011.

The Network Manager feels the heartbeat of the Single European Sky, planning for its smooth operation and reacting when parts of the network are in difficulty. It can do this in an impartial and transparent manner, working closely in the general interest with ANSPs, airports, civil and military airspace users across the airspace of 43 States.

Mr Joe SULTANA
Director Network Manager

The European Commission nominated EUROCONTROL as the Network Manager in July 2011, with a mandate that runs until the end of the Performance Scheme’s second Reference Period - that is, until 31 December 2019. EUROCONTROL  has been undertaking major organisational changes to ensure its re-designation as Network Manager for the period beyond 2019.

The Network Manager addresses performance issues strategically, operationally and technically. Its overarching mission is to contribute to the delivery of air traffic management’s (ATM) performance in the pan-European network in the areas of safety, capacity, environment/flight efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

With the comprehensive picture of the European ATM network and unique in-depth expertise, the Network Manager’s priority is to forge operational partnerships and to foster cooperative decision-making, both of which are needed to achieve the performance targets in a transparent and impartial way.

The European ATM network includes all the European Union’s 28 and EUROCONTROL’s 41 Member States, as well as others which have bilateral agreements with the Network Manager.

Functions

The Network Manager is mandated by the European Commission to carry out four main functions:

  1. to develop and create Route Network Design;
  2. to provide a central function for Frequency Allocation;
  3. to coordinate improvements to SSR Code Allocation;
  4. to carry out the Air Traffic Flow management function.

In addition to the functions above, the Network Manager, with the support of the European Aviation Crisis Coordination Cell (EACCC), shall be responsible for coordinating the management of response to the network crisis. It shall also contribute to SESAR deployment, according to the European ATM Master Plan.

Tasks

The Network Manager adds value to Europe's air traffic management (ATM) system by:

  1. helping air navigation service providers, civil/military airspace users and airports enhance their Europe-wide network performance;
  2. jointly drawing up a strategy, plans and priorities;
  3. helping to make routes more efficient;
  4. balancing demand and capacity;
  5. managing scarce resources;
  6. consolidating information into centralised ATM databases;
  7. helping to underpin collaborative decision-making;
  8. forecasting, monitoring and analysing network performance;
  9. dealing with network challenges centrally - weather, major events, hotspots, crises.

Governance

The Network Manager operates through a process of cooperative decision-making between two bodies – the Network Management Board and the Single Sky Committee.

Network Management Board (NMB)

The Network Management Board (NMB) ensures the governance of the Network Manager and monitors its performance. In particular, the board will:

  • endorse the Network Strategy Plan prior to adoption in accordance with Article 5(3) of Regulation (EC) No 549/2004;
  • approve the 3 to 5 year and the annual Network Operations Plans;
  • approve the cooperative decision-making processes, the consultation processes as well as detailed working arrangements and processes for operations for the network functions, after a positive opinion of the Single Sky Committee;
  • approve the Rules of Procedure of the European Aviation Crisis Coordination Cell provided for in Article 18(4), after a positive opinion of the Single Sky Committee;
  • monitor progress in the implementation of the plans and addressing any potential deviations from initial plans;
  • monitor the consultation process of operational stake holders;
  • monitor activities related to the management of the network functions;
  • monitor Network Manager activities related to network crises;
  • approve the annual report referred to in Article 20. This report shall include, but not be limited to, the implementation of the Network Strategy Plan and the Network Operations Plan;
  • address issues which were not solved at individual network function level;
  • assess if the Network Manager has the appropriate competences, resources and impartiality to carry out independently the tasks assigned to it, including security, liability and contingency arrangements;
  • endorse the Network Managers annual budget, after a positive opinion of the Single Sky Committee;
  • approve its Rules of Procedure, after a positive opinion of the Single Sky Committee;
  • address any additional subject it identifies as relevant.

Members

The Board consists of voting and non-voting members (download the full list of members).

Chairman:

Mr Simon HOCQUARD
Chief Operating Officer
CANSO

Vice-chair:

Mrs Sylviane LUST
Director General
AIRE

Vice-chair:

Mr Luc LAVEYNE
Senior Adviser Single European Sky
ACI EUROPE

The NMB's voting members include:

  • one representative of air navigation service providers per functional airspace block;
  • four representatives of commercial and non-commercial civil airspace users;
  • two representatives of the airport operators;
  • two representatives of the military as air navigation service providers and airspace users.

The Board also has three non-voting members, representing:

  • the European Commission’s Director Air Transport Directorate (DG MOVE),
  • EUROCONTROL and
  • the Network Manager.

Single Sky Committee (SSC)

The Single Sky Committee (SSC) gives an opinion on:  

  • the nomination of the Network Manager;
  • the appointment of the chairperson of the Network Management Board;
  • the appointment of the voting members of the Network Management Board;
  • the Rules of Procedure of the Network Management Board;
  • the Network Strategy Plan, and in particular the objectives of this plan at an early stage;
  • the annual budget of the Network Manager;
  • the Rules of Procedure of the European Aviation Crisis Coordination Cell;
  • the cooperative decision-making processes, the consultation processes as well as the detailed working arrangements and processes for operations for the network functions.

Members

The Single Sky Committee has two representatives of each European Union Member State (civil and military), observers from third countries and EUROCONTROL. The SSC is chaired by a representative from the European Commission.

Performance

The Network Manager helps implement the performance scheme as stipulated by Regulation (EU) N° 691/2010 (replaced by Regulation N° 390/2013).

The European Commission ensures that the Network Manager is subject to the provisions of the Performance Scheme through the Network Performance Plan.

The Network Performance Plan lists improvements in the four Key Performance Areas:

  1. Safety - the Network Manager uses a safety performance approach in carrying out its role: identifying network hotspots, analysing root causes and proposing action plans to minimise or avoid risk;
  2. Capacity – the Network Manager plans to reduce the average en-route air traffic flow management delay to reach a maximum of 0.5 minutes per flight yearly;
  3. Environment – the Network Manager will design more efficient airspace structures, promote better airspace utilisation by the users, optimise flights and other flight initiatives;
  4. Cost-efficiency – in the Second Reference Period, the Network Manager will continue to ensure that it carries out its functions in the most cost-effective manner.

The Network Performance Plan for the second reference period (RP2) of the Performance Scheme has been approved.

The Network Manager“In achieving its network performance objectives, NM has built a strong foundation: solid cooperation with its stakeholders, appropriate governance structures and a network-centric approach aimed at continuous improvement.” Joe Sultana, Director Network Manager.
 

Network planning

The Network Manager generates Strategic and Operational Plans for the Network.

The Network Strategy Plan

One of the Network Manager’s tasks is to develop, maintain and implement the Network Strategy Plan, the strategic tool for managing the European ATM network.

The plan defines those strategic operational objectives needed to achieve the requisite levels of ATM performance.

The Network Strategy Plan is endorsed by the Network Management Board, following the Single Sky Committee’s positive opinion, prior to its adoption by the European Commission.

The Network Strategy Plan (NSP):

  • provides a common understanding of the way the ATM network as a whole will achieve the performance targets, while preparing for the next performance reference period;
  • identifies the roles and responsibilities of the various operational stakeholders in implementing the plan;
  • serves as a reference for the activities to be carried out by the Network Manager and its operational stakeholders;
  • is aligned with the ATM Master Plan.

DOWNLOAD

The Network Operations Plan

The Network Operations Plans (NOP) implements the Network Strategy Plan at an operational level. It describes measures which should be taken in order to achieve the European Union-wide performance targets in different time periods: three to five years; annually; seasonally; weekly and daily.

The Network Operations Plan is updated at regular intervals, taking into account all relevant developments, needs and requirements.

The Network Operations Plan (NOP):

  • includes the European Route Network Improvement Plan and the equivalent for radio frequencies and the SSR transponder codes;
  • identifies operational constraints and bottlenecks and presents improvement measures for resolving them or mitigating their impact;
  • ensures that the operation plans of Air Navigation Service Providers, Functional Airspace Blocks and airport operators are aligned with the Network Operations Plan.

DOWNLOAD

Contact

For any questions about the Network Manager, please email the office of the Director Network Manager.