The new Policy has put in place an iterative process whereby States are asked, at the start of each year, to define upfront their envisaged needs for support, which are then prioritised, checked to see whether prioritised requests are on track to fit into the allocated envelope, and consolidated in the STS planning. STS is considered to be “jointly funded support” (JFS) which is funded through the common EUROCONTROL budget because the prioritisation analysis confirms it will deliver benefits for the whole European ANS network; however, there is a ceiling for expenditure on JFS, which means that needs exceeding that limit could be delivered under the User Pays Principle.
For States, the new Policy brings three key advantages:
- greater flexibility in terms of who can receive support, as the definition of State-requested support has been widened to include non-State actors within specific support requests, such as air navigation service providers, airports, environmental agencies and so on, where the requesting State deems it necessary.
- a more proactive and prioritised approach, using a Support Priority Indicator (SPIn) to prioritise demands according to the expected benefit for the network within the available STS budget, and measure how effectively they have been implemented.
- greater predictability for EUROCONTROL in terms of planning ahead where expertise is scarce.
Work on defining new requests with the States has now started. 2019 will be a transition year, as new Special Agreements are agreed in parallel with work being completed on ones concluded under the previous policy; with full implementation of the new approach envisaged in 2020.