The State of Israel and the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation - EUROCONTROL, today signed a Comprehensive Agreement, a major step forward strengthening the ties in aviation between Israel and Europe.
The Agreement, which was signed by Mr Israel Katz, the Israeli Minister of Transport and Road Safety, and Mr Frank Brenner, Director General of EUROCONTROL, strengthens the relationship between Israel and Europe by allowing the State of Israel, as well as Israeli air carriers and the Israel Airport Authority, which is also the air navigation service provider, to benefit from the full range of services provided by EUROCONTROL. The Agreement builds on the Euro-Mediterranean Aviation Agreement which was signed between Israel and the European Union in 2013.
Mr Israel Katz said: "The signing of this Agreement has not been taken for granted, and I congratulate EUROCONTROL who persisted in advancing the process despite the difficulties. As a result of the agreement, the State of Israel will benefit from the professional aviation services provided by EUROCONTROL that will significantly contribute to the safety and efficiency of civil aviation. Thanks to this agreement Israeli passengers will be able to travel quickly and efficiently without any delays."
“More than 300 flights each day move between Israeli and European airspace, and with that number set to grow, it makes obvious sense to strengthen the integration between European and Israeli aviation,” said Frank Brenner, Director General of EUROCONTROL. “We are delighted to be welcoming Israel as the second of the Comprehensive Agreement States inside our Organisation which means that they will be able to participate in the working structures of the Agency and benefit from the services we provide.”
Air traffic between Israel and Europe has been growing at over 9% a year for the past three years. This growth poses ongoing challenges to international civil aviation and underlines the need to improve ties between regions in order to ensure flight efficiency and safety in airspace and airports that are growing more crowded every year.
The Comprehensive Agreement will bring significant operational advantages to airlines and passengers moving between the two regions. In particular, it will support improved crisis management, more organised and harmonised management of the traffic flows between Israel and Europe, improved predictability in planning of daily operations, improved safety of operations and a wider network approach to all developments such as airspace design, infrastructure coordination and management. The Agreement between EUROCONTROL and Israel is a logical step to implement Single European Sky procedures following the EU-Israel EUROMED aviation agreement.
Israel is only the second State to sign a Comprehensive Agreement with EUROCONTROL, following on from Morocco which signed a similar Agreement in May 2016. Signing the Agreement required a consensus among all 41 EUROCONTROL Member States in a two-stage voting procedure.
The process of approving the Agreement involved the active efforts in Israel from the Ministry of Transport (Ministry Directorate, Civil Aviation Authority and the Israel Airport Authority), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Headquarters and numerous embassies) and on the European side from EUROCONTROL senior management as well as the Director General of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Mobility and Transport.