Fourteen PENS (Pan European Network Service) Users - 13 key Air Navigation Service Providers and EUROCONTROL - met the initial end-February deadline for the first PENS implementation phase for which SITA was selected as Network Service Provider in October 2009.
The ANSPs that have now contracted for the delivery of the PENS service include AENA, (Spain), Avinor (Norway), Croatia Control (Croatia), DFS (Germany), ENAV (Italy), Finavia (Finland), HungaroControl (Hungary), LFV (Sweden), LPS (Slovakia), NATS (UK), NAV Portugal, NAVIAIR (Denmark) and Slovenia Control (Slovenia). PENS, a managed Internet Protocol based regional communications backbone service, will enable the 38 ANSPs of the EUROCONTROL Member States to exchange operational ATC voice and data communications in a seamless and integrated manner; it will provide an alternative to the ad-hoc bi-lateral communications that are largely in place today between the ANSPs and will result in increased service levels and reduced overall costs. Yvan Fischer, EUROCONTROLs PENS Development Manager, said: The fact that 13 out of the total of 38 EUROCONTROL member States ANSPs have signed up within four months of the main contract signature with SITA has indeed surpassed our expectations and clearly demonstrates the urgency with which the ANSPs wish to start using the service. Notably it will enable these ANSPs to readily comply with the Single European Sky Implementation Rule deadline of 2011 related to exchange of flight data between air traffic control centres. Akhil Sharma, SITAs Head of Air Traffic Management said: The rapid ANSP acceptance of PENS as the backbone of operational Air Traffic Control communications in Europe is a clear signal of the cost-effective value that this landmark project will deliver to enable transformation of the European air traffic management service. Through this programme EUROCONTROL and the ANSPs have set an example of best industry practice that I am sure other regions around the world will evaluate against their needs which, in principle, are no different to those of Europe given the global nature of air traffic management.