Single European sky ATC

Single European sky ATC edging closer to realisation

The pursuit of a single European sky ATC is gradually edging closer to realisation following Eurocontrol’s acquisition of its member states’ approval. According to Gordon Gilbert’s news article published at the AINonline website on 17 October 2016: “Eurocontrol has received the final approval from its member states to lead the development and deployment of the European air/ground data communication service (EAGDCS).” The project is seeking to enhance communication and safety during flights.

This development has opened the doors for Eurocontrol to begin engaging with ATC providers in each of its member states to kick-start the implementation of this particular regional initiative for enhancing safety in the aviation industry. The process will also involve private jet and commercial aircraft operators and will see Eurocontrol establish a collaboration platform for implementing the EAGDCS “within the context of the single Europena sky air traffic management research (SESAR) project,” according to Gilbert.

Eurocontrol has already hit the ground running and is in the process of establishing a framework through which it will implement the project. The agency has scheduled a workshop in November 2016 to set a clear framework for systematically implementing the EAGDCS.

The initial phase of this system is scheduled to be accessible to ATC providers by February 2018, while a fully functional information-sharing system is projected to be in place by 2025. This will significantly enhance aviation safety and afford pilots greater communication capabilities compared to the current systems. Gilbert reports: “It is also an important step towards the SESAR concept of 4D trajectories, allowing exchange of data from an aircraft’s FMS to ATC, giving the controller real-time information on the pilot’s intentions.” This will effectively suppress the chances of miscommunication between aircraft while simultaneously decongesting radio channels for more important communication. Gilbert quotes a Eurocontrol official as emphasising: “This will be a major safety and efficiency improvement.”