compassion, collaboration & cooperation iN transistion
... for the Safety of Air Navigation and is an inter-governmental
organisation working for seamless, pan-European air traffic
management. The organization was established in 1960 by six
European States, i.e. Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg,
The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, for the purpose of
developing a coherent and coordinated air traffic control system
in Europe. The EUROCONTROL International Convention relating
to Co-operation for the Safety of Air Navigation was signed at
Brussels on 13 December 1960 and entered into force on 1 March 1963.
Four Member States (Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, and
The Netherlands) agreed in 1964 to set up a single international
air traffic control centre to manage their upper airspace, finally settling
on Maastricht in the Netherlands. In 2014, the organisation had
40 Member States, counting the European Community as a member.
The Organization’s strategic objectives are classified in specific areas:
Safety, Capacity, Efficiency, Security, and Environment. To achieve
its mission and objectives, EUROCONTROL initiates, develops, and
coordinates short-, medium- and long-term pan-European air traffic
management strategies and their associated action plans. This is done
in a collective effort involving civil and military aviation stakeholders
(national authorities, air navigation service providers, civil and military
airspace users, airports, industry, professional organizations), the
European institutions (such as the European Aviation Safety Agency,
the European Community, the European Civil Aviation Conference, etc.),
and international aviation bodies.
EUROCONTROL’s main offices are located as follows: the Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium; the
Research Centre in Brétigny-sur-Orge, France; the Maastricht Upper Area Control (MUAC) centre
in Maastricht, Netherlands; and the Training Institute in Luxembourg.
Although Eurocontrol is not an agency of the European Union, the EU has delegated parts of its
Single European Sky regulations to Eurocontrol, making it the central organisation for coordination
and planning of air traffic control for all of Europe. The EU itself is a signatory of Eurocontrol
and all EU member states are presently also members of Eurocontrol.The organisation works
and other organisations. Its activities involve all gate-to-gate air navigation service operations:
strategic and tactical flow management, controller training, regional control of airspace,
safety-proofed technologies and procedures, and collection of air navigation charges.
The Eurocontrol Convention was signed in 1960 and ratified in 1963. Before the Convention
entered into force in 1963, there were already indications that the matter of national sovereignty
would complicate the full implementation of the organisation’s founding mission. The first European
plan for a harmonised air traffic control (ATC) system, proposed in 1962, was beset by the refusal
The European Parliament at the time expressed concern about the lack of clear intergovernmental
agreements to ensure common air traffic control services across the continent. In 1979, Eurocontrol
signed a working cooperation agreement with the European Commission, attempting to create a
synergy of Eurocontrol’s technical expertise and EU’s regulatory authorities. Several initiatives
originating in this period become a lasting element of the organisation, such as the Eurocontrol
forecasting service, which became STATFOR, as well as the Aeronautical Information Service.
By 1986, the pressures on the European ATC network was so big that a new, wider mandate was
already being considered for Eurocontrol, with much of the initiative coming from ECAC’s Ministers
of Transport. Subsequently, ECAC urged all of its member states to join Eurocontrol.
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