Maurice Georges, Director of the French Air Navigation Service Provider (DSNA), and Jean-Loïc Galle, Senior Vice President of Thales for Air Operations, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Friday 24 June 2011, during the Paris Air Show, to develop the 4-FLIGHT system and to have it deployed in two ACCs before 2015.
The development of the French component of 4-FLIGHT has been awarded to Thales, following a call for tender put out in March 2010 and negotiations that lasted over a year. According to Maurice Georges, "4-FLIGHT will allow the DSNA to start using, from 2015, a new ATM system which will provide interoperability with the systems used by its European partners, in particular FABEC. This will enable us to respond to the ever increasing volume of air traffic and will provide a foundation for the SESAR system. In order to better anticipate changes to of the current working methods, engineers, ATCOs and ATSEPs who will operate the future system will be involved throughout the programme. The long term partnership that we are putting in place will ensure, thanks to Thales's leading role in the world ATM market and its established client base, that we benefit from the technologies that best meet our requirements and that we will better control our costs and development deadlines."
Jean-Loïc Galle said, "I am very pleased that the DSNA have placed their trust in us. As a result of this collaboration, we will be able to expand Thales's new ATM product line, by adapting it to the Core Area of European airspace and the very dense and complex volumes of air traffic that are managed by French control centres. 4-FLIGHT will be a continuation of our current EUROCAT product, and will allow us to offer solutions to our clients for gradual migration as part of our European product policy. The strong points of our tender were our capacity for technological innovation and our significant contribution to the European SESAR programme; these will ensure both the long-term success of the 4-FLIGHT product and its compliance with the regulatory framework of the Single European Sky initiative."