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Cooperation agreement with the USA on modernising air traffic management

Vice-President Jacques Barrot, the Commissioner responsible for transport, and Marion C. Blakey of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), signed a cooperation agreement that will ensure coordination between their respective programmes for the modernisation of air traffic control, SESAR on the European side, and NGATS (“ Next Generation Air Transport System”) on the American side.

The cooperation agreement signed by the Commission and the FAA at the Farnborough airshow will not only make it possible to put in place the mechanisms for coordinating the two programmes but also includes a reciprocity clause that will allow European industry to participate in the American programme and American industry to participate in SESAR.

19 July 2011 - Signature of a Memorandum of Cooperation between Japan and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Mobility and Transport- (MOVE) on SESAR (Air Traffic Management) pdf - 8 KB [8 KB]

3 March 2011 - Signature of the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between the European Commission (EC) and the Federal Aviation Administration for the USA (FAA)

On 3 March 2011, in occasion of the High Level Conference on implementing the Single European Sky, organised under the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the agreements were signed by the Hungarian Minister of State for Infrastructure, Mr P. Völner and EC Vice-president S. Kallas for the European Union part, and by Ms Carey Fagan, Executive Director for International Affairs of the Federal Aviation Administration, for the United States part.

Numerous Hungarian, American and European Commission authorities and representatives were present at the ceremony, which was followed by a press conference.

The signing of the MoC and its Annex I allows for their provisional application and to start the operational cooperation activities. For the EU side, the activities launched under the Annex I will be carried out by the SESAR Joint Undertaking, ensuring an optimal coordination of European ATM modernisation activities and the direct involvement of the EU industry. The FAA will carry out the tasks for the US side.

The next step is for the European Parliament to give its consent to the MoC, followed by a Council decision on its conclusion. In the meantime, the SESAR JU and the FAA have advanced in preparing the first technical appendices describing the specific cooperative activities they will carry out in the framework of SESAR-NextGEN cooperation.

Negotiations of new Annexes are envisaged in the near future, namely in the field of aviation safety, Unmanned Aerial Systems, and alternative fuels in aviation, performance metrics, and aviation efficiency. Through the MoC, the EU and the US will be able to jointly pursue their common objective to ensure greener and more efficient air transport systems on the basis of a binding framework respecting commonly agreed principles on reciprocal benefits and opportunities.