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Interesting projects, important outcomes: A look back at the first year of EUROCONTROL’s new Support to States Policy

An air traffic controller in front of their terminal.

2019, the first year of the new Support to States (STS) Policy, saw EUROCONTROL support States and their national authorities on a range of interesting priority projects. The STS Policy prioritises all requests for support based on the degree to which they are expected to deliver benefits for the whole European ANS network, adopting a targeted, output-based approach that assist those States most in need of customised support. Priority projects requesting Agency expertise are formalised in a Special Agreement for assistance, with 2019 seeing 20 new agreements concluded. In total, 900 days of Agency expertise were allocated to 31 different projects over the year – with some notable highlights.

A number of STS projects successfully closed out in 2019. Two major achievements were a well-appreciated study conducted for the UK CAA to review the coding and reporting of ATFM delays within the London Terminal Manoeuvring Area (TMA) and at London’s airports; and the completion with Latvia of a highly successful 3-year Special Agreement working on such matters as cyber-security, safety, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and the establishment of a national Military Aviation Authority.

2019 also saw EUROCONTROL complete most of the deliverables related to the performance assessment study for Spain at Barcelona Airport and its TMA, with the project envisaged to be completed this year. Valuable work was also done with other States including – among others – work for Albania evaluating the potential ops impact of planned runway reconstructions at Tirana airport, helping Armenia with a risk analysis of the current procedures and operations of general aviation in Armenian airspace, and an analysis of existing Armenian legislation to identify possible gaps with the latest EU legislation.

We also worked together with Bosnia & Herzegovina on Airport Collaborative Decision Making, Collaborative Environment Management and runway incursions and excursions, and assistance to Moldova to align further with EU safety standards.

Highlights among the 20 new Special Agreements signed in 2019 that form the basis of the annual STS Action Plan include ambitious three-year projects with Armenia, Georgia and Latvia, all aiming at building capabilities in a number of domains. A new agreement with North Macedonia foresees a range of support covering such matters as the implementation of ATCO licensing regulation requirements, performance planning for the third reference period (RP3) of the SES performance and charging schemes, and implementation of Performance-based Navigation (PBN) in the context of the Skopje TMA reorganisation.

Interesting airport-related Special Agreements also continue to feature extensively in the support work. Ireland is to be supported with the human factors aspects of the implementation of their new runway in Dublin, continuing Agency work already done on real-time simulations (see picture), and support has been agreed with Serbia to evaluate the impact on airport operations of Belgrade’s planned new runway. A new Special Agreement with Portugal will see the Agency help ANAC analyse capacity issues at Lisbon Airport and propose measures to improve operational performance, as well as other matters.

The final request received in December 2019 was from Estonia, asking the Agency to support their CAA and ANSP with regard to the airspace assessment of Tallinn Control Zone (CTR) in preparation of UAS integration; this is expected to be formalised in a new Special Agreement shortly.

EUROCONTROL looks forward to supporting all of its Member States and Comprehensive Agreement States in their various projects as we move into a new decade.

Read our Support to States Policy

Adopted by EUROCONTROL's Provisional Council (PC) via Measure 18/238.