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 Beek/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 with national
authorities, air navigation service providers, civil and military airspace
users, airports, 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
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 of both France
and Britain to comply, largely due to reasons closely linked with their
national military airspace control. The other four original members
(the Federal Republic of Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and
Luxembourg) agreed in 1964 to set up a single international air traffic
control centre to manage their upper airspace, settling on the site of
the Beek Airfield to the north of the Dutch city of Maastricht.
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
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.
ALL of which was happening of course at a [TIME] when there was much
discussion concerning the use of Air Power on a global basis and the
interaction of Military/Civilian Flight Operations with the introduction of
new technology such as the XB-70A Valkyrie.
... and so [IT] was that COP 16 took place from 29
November to 10 December 2010 in Cancun, Mexico.
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