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Keeping airspace safe: EUROCONTROL, CANSO and aviation stakeholders release new European Airspace Infringement Action Plan

The new European Airspace Infringement Action Plan released by EUROCONTROL and CANSO has been developed in close collaboration with airspace users, service providers, military and regulatory authorities including EASA, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency to improve coordinated actions and reduce the risk of aircraft entering airspace unauthorised.

European Airspace Infringement Action Plan 2022

The Action Plan lists a number of safety improvement measures to avoid airspace infringements, a major operational hazard that, without prompt action by air traffic controllers and pilots, can result in a loss of separation or even mid-air collision. Between 2010 and 2021, there were 32,800 airspace infringements reported in the EASA Member States and the United Kingdom, a figure that underlines the vital importance of a joint Action Plan.

“In the aviation community we are very much aware of the severe operational threat airspace infringements can pose to air traffic operations. I am delighted that the close collaboration with our partners from across the aviation sector has been very successful in delivering a concrete product that will help to keep airspace safe while ensuring efficient and sustainable air traffic operations.”

The joint Action Plan provides a toolbox of recommended safety improvement measures, to be assessed in the local circumstances and implemented where deemed necessary. The recommendations have been divided in 5 domains:

  • Airspace Design (AD),
  • Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP),
  • Airspace Users (AU),
  • Aeronautical Information Management (AIM); and
  • Meteorology and Regulators (REG).

The document is available in a full version and in booklets per domain, and comes with a list of best practice examples from the contributing stakeholders.

Background

Tackling airspace infringements has been a high priority for European ANSPs for almost two decades. Much time and energy has been expended in reducing the risk of a mid-air collision caused by an infringement. The action plans of the past have been successful in managing the risk to a certain extent. However, with an evolving aviation industry that sees increased traffic in general and commercial aviation and technological developments, the need for coordinated action remains. CANSO and EUROCONTROL chair the initiative, which draws on the expertise and close support of a working group of stakeholders.

Download the European Airspace Infringement Action Plan