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EUROCONTROL Provisional Council 50

ERA attended the fiftieth session of the EUROCONTROL Provisional Council on 29 November, held at the agency headquarters in Brussels. The meeting provided delegates with a comprehensive overview of the work of the agency over the past year and a detailed projection of the agency’s business plan for the year ahead.

The Provisional Council forms the governance framework for the EUROCONTROL agency and is composed of representatives from the member states at the director general for civil aviation level and state military as well as a selection of observer organisations, such as ERA. Senior representation from the European Commission, EASA, SESAR Joint Undertaking and SESAR Deployment Manager is encouraged, leading to a high-level forum for discussion of all relevant civil-military matters.

The meeting, held in EUROCONTROL’s plenary chamber, Europa, was completely full and included many senior state representatives as well as leaders of the aviation-related institutional organisations such as Filip Cornelis, Director Aviation European Commission, Patrick Ky, Executive Director EASA, Florian Guillermet, Executive Director SESAR Joint Undertaking and EUROCONTROL’s Director General, Eamonn Brennan. Airspace user associations have been provided with a higher profile at this year’s meetings as a result of the improved co-operative understanding between the agency and the airspace users.

A keynote address was delivered by Alexandre de Juniac, IATA Director General and CEO during the session, urging ANSPs and the Network Manager to work in a harmonised and collaborative way with a view to reducing the crippling delays experienced during 2018. He also called for the member states to work with their ANSPs and National Aviation Authorities to improve relationships between social partners and mitigate the impact of industrial action in some states. It was stated during the meeting that overall, air traffic delays resulted in a €17.9bn cost to the EU economy in 2018 (+29 per cent) affecting 347 million passengers and due in part to EC261. The call for increased focus by politicians to better understand the problem was reiterated – an important role for the airspace user associations in terms of education.

Chaired by President of the Provisional Council Raúl Medina Caballero, Director General of Civil Aviation at the Spanish Ministry of Public Works and Transport, and President of the Spanish Aviation Safety State Agency (AESA), elections were held for two vice president positions and Stephen Hand (UK DfT) and Piotr Samson (President of the Polish CAA) were duly elected by members of the PC.

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