EUROCONTROL and Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH (DFS) have signed an agreement to further harmonise air navigation services in the upper airspace of Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands

- Brussels, Belgium.

Eamonn Brennan, Director General of EUROCONTROL, and Arndt Schoenemann, CEO of DFS, today signed, in the presence of Henrik Hololei, Director-General for Mobility and Transport at the European Commission, a cooperation agreement which will bring direct benefits for the wider aviation community in Europe. Under the agreement, EUROCONTROL's Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC) and the DFS Karlsruhe Upper Area Control Centre (KUAC) will further harmonise the provision of air navigation services by means of technical and operational convergence.

The agreement will see a further harmonisation of operational and technical concepts between the two centres over several steps. This harmonisation of processes, procedures and technology will lead to a seamless user experience, and an improvement in capacity, safety and environment. The first step is to align the concepts of operations and the necessary systems of the two air navigation service providers.

Both control centres will share technology and expertise for leading-edge air traffic flow and capacity management as well as airspace management (ATFCM/ASM). Measures include optimisation of the joint airspace boundaries between KUAC and MUAC to enable improved flight profiles and traffic handling.

The common system platform will be based on a virtual infrastructure which will provide services and software solutions for both centres, and which can also be potentially made available to third parties in the long term.

The technological convergence allows the deployment of common system components running at two geo-redundant data centres shared between MUAC and KUAC. Services and software solutions for both control centres will be based on private cloud technologies. With the use of future-proof information technology, flexibility will be enhanced.

“I am delighted to see the signature of this important agreement for European aviation. Every little step counts and this is a significant one towards seamless airspace management, technological conversion in Europe and delivering the Digital European Sky.”


"If we want to be able to handle the growing number of aircraft across Europe, innovative solutions and increased cross-border cooperation are needed. This agreement is between two of Europe's largest air navigation service providers, and is a key building block for a uniform air traffic management system in a part of the continent which hosts around 35% of European traffic - and is also home to some of the largest European airports. We are delighted to steer and pilot such a large-scale cooperation which shows how, even in a complex business such as aviation, close cooperation is possible and beneficial."

Signatories of EUROCONTROL and DFS, as well as the European Commission

"With this new cooperation agreement, MUAC and DFS are making a further significant step towards the realisation of the Single European Sky. Managing a large-scale European airspace based on a harmonised concept of operations between the two major en-route centres in Europe will deliver direct benefits to all airspace users. Both organisations have been using their excellent relationship during the pandemic to develop this common strategy. This cooperation has already delivered some first significant airspace improvements with the COBRA (Cooperative Optimisation of Boundaries, Routes and Airspace) project."


"Now, we are turning into reality what has been on the political agenda for quite a while. When we concluded the feasibility study leading to this important milestone, it was obvious that both DFS and MUAC shared a common vision and culture of providing seamless and top-of-the-range services to airspace users. The setting-up of the two geo-redundant data centres will be done in line with the “virtual centre” concept. The data centres will be the backbone of the highest interoperability and seamless service provision in Europe. Sharing system components will generate major benefits in terms of safety, capacity, cost-efficiency and sustainability for the entire aviation community. This constitutes a further major milestone towards the Single Digital Sky. We are excited to work hand-in-hand with DFS to make this innovation a reality in European ATM."




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