1960 – 1970: Building the foundations

The economic and technological developments which took place after the Second World War transformed aviation. It became one of the main transport options for people, and developed into an expanding industry in Europe.

The subsequent growth in air traffic led to the need for better coordination of air traffic control - and this is where EUROCONTROL comes in. In the early 1960s, six European states - Belgium, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom - committed to creating a collective air traffic control system. This cooperation grew into a new organisation: EUROCONTROL. The original aim of EUROCONTROL was to achieve the complete integration of air traffic services in Europe.

In 1967, the EUROCONTROL Experimental Centre (EEC) was set up in Brétigny-sur-Orge, France. The Centre engaged EUROCONTROL in the field of technological development in aviation, as it conducts and co-ordinates research for air traffic control improvements.

These technological activities took a major leap forward with the inauguration of the Institute of Air Navigation Services (IANS) in 1969. IANS was to become an important centre providing air traffic control and air traffic management training for EUROCONTROL's Member States.

The 1960s marked the first post-war close collaboration in the European air traffic control sector and laid the foundations for EUROCONTROL’s further pivotal developments in subsequent decades.       

Next: 1970s


13 December 1960
EUROCONTROL International Convention relating to Cooperation for the Safety of Air Navigation is signed by the 6 founding States.

The Association for the Development of Air Traffic Control Methods and Equipment, an early version of EUROCONTROL, is established.

1 March 1963
The International Convention relating to Cooperation for the Safety of Air Navigation enters into force and EUROCONTROL Agency is created.

René Bulin becomes the first Director General of EUROCONTROL.

January 1967
The Experimental Centre (EEC) is inaugurated at Brétigny-sur-Orge, France.

October 1969
The Institute of Air Navigation Services (IANS) is inaugurated in Luxembourg.