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"Interoperability with the EUROCONTROL Network Manager" initiative takes home the SES Innovation Award

NM’s interoperability initiative, seen as a key driver of innovation, is a major step in the digital transformation of European air traffic management by making data widely available using open standards.

Making ATM data widely available and promoting interoperability based on open standards is a core goal of the Interoperability Strategy of the EUROCONTROL Network Manager (NM), an ambition that is fully aligned with the European Aviation Strategy and the goals of the Digital Single Market.

In giving the Innovation Award at the European Commission’s Single European Sky (SES) Awards held at the World ATM Congress in Madrid, the judges recognised the power of this initiative as a catalyst for the further digital transformation of air traffic management (ATM).

The “Interoperability with the EUROCONTROL Network Manager” initiative recognised the achievement of NM and its ten partners (DFS, DSNA, ENAIRE, skyguide and EUROCONTROL’s MUAC on the ANSP side; Copenhagen Airports, Amsterdam-Schiphol and Nice-Côte d’Azur on the airport side; one airline in Air France; and one computerised flight plan service provider in RocketRoute) in collaborating on a variety of digital data exchanges with the NM.

The interoperability initiative has to date seen more than 100 services and 200 organisations worldwide connect to the Network Manager and demonstrated the tangible operational benefits of making ATM data digitally available. The initiative spurs creativity and innovation and contributes to the growth of the aviation ecosystem by operationally developing connectivity in and beyond Europe. It also creates economic value for the entire ATM user community, and thus supports the wider European economy as a whole.

Thanks to this initiative, traditional ATM players can provide safer, more cost-efficient and operationally efficient services, eliminating or reducing manual processes, switching to modern and lower-cost internet technologies, and ensuring timely access to accurate network data. At the same time, it also creates market opportunities for “non-traditional players” to enter the market and create more jobs.

This interoperability initiative has improved common situational awareness through digital data exchanges. Through it, participants are able to benefit from the digital provision of tactical airspace updates (e.g. sector configuration, capacity, runway in use) by ANSP.

It has also greatly enhanced cooperation with countries and regions outside the network. The digital exchange of flight data from outside the network increases the predictability of flights entering European airspace, and underpins the seamless management of major traffic flows across ATM regions.

NM’s SWIM-based B2B services offer an invaluable digital network view and this enhanced interoperability has brought greater process automation and substantive workload reductions at operational level. This award recognises this success and will encourage other partners to link digitally to EUROCONTROL’s Network Manager.