2019 saw the EUROCONTROL Network Manager (NM) making the transition towards the next decade: new Single European Sky (SES) implementing rules for the network functions and performance updated the tasks and responsibilities of the NM, which entered into force in January 2020. The European Commission re-appointed EUROCONTROL to carry out these tasks for 2020-2029. EASA certified NM as the provider of the network functions in line with revised Network Functions (NF) and Oversight Regulations. 2019 is also the year when NM changed leadership: Iacopo Prissinotti has been the Director Network Management at EUROCONTROL since July 2019.
In addition, some key highlights from 2019 were:
- the introduction of a new organisational structure in NM to respond better to the revised NF Regulation;
- the launch of significant business improvement initiatives with:
- the Airspace Restructuring programme,
- the Operational Excellence programme and
- the review of the NM Long Term Investment Plan (LTIP);
- the integrated Network Manager (iNM) programme, designed to move NM’s legacy systems towards digital products based on an open digital platform;
- improved en-route ATFM delay thanks to the positive effect of the EUROCONTROL/NM Action Plan (eNM/S19) implementation;
- the continued integration of airports into the network through the Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) programme.
Challenges, notably an incoming pandemic, capacity and staffing issues, airspace restrictions and volatile geo-political situations created disruptions in the network. However, in the words of the Iacopo Prissinotti, Director Network Management at EUROCONTROL,