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European and North Atlantic (EUR/NAT) Office
History: Activities of the European Office from 1986 TO 2004
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History: Activities of the European Office from 1986 TO 2004
Most of the Regional Office capacity had been devoted to the servicing the EANPG and its working groups for many years past and this trend continued unabated to the present time. It may be recalled in this context that special temporary arrangements had been introduced back in 1980 as a result of the suspension by a number of Arab States of their relations with the ICAO Middle East and Eastern African Office in Cairo. These States were served from the ICAO EUR/NAT Regional Office in Paris for air navigation matters and other support functions. These arrangements lasted well into 1992. This additional task was a challenging but successful undertaking carried out by the Office to the satisfaction of all States concerned.
The period after 1985 was marked by follow-up of the action taken by the Seventh European Regional Air Navigation (EUR/7 RAN) Meeting in Malaga, Spain from 12 to 23 November 1985. The European Office took steps to enable bodies involved in ICAO regional planning to follow up EUR/7 RAN Meeting results and directives in accordance with the actions by the ICAO Council and the Air Navigation Commission. The European Air Navigation Planning Group
and its working groups continued to apply the new planning processes specifically designed for ICAO air navigation planning in the EUR Region, which had now been formally endorsed by the ICAO Council.
Parts of the EUR Air Navigation Plan required specific action in accordance with the procedures agreed for the management of the Plan on a continuous basis to bring it in line with the technical and operational requirements and planning criteria for air navigation facilities and services. In
, a management schedule for the Plan was established for the years 1987 to 1991 to cope with this task.
In accordance with this work programme, the EANPG and the Regional Office continued their work on the improvement of the ATC system and the provision of an integrated Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) Service for the EUR Region. Regular reviews of specific problems and developments in the field of air navigation became, increasingly, a feature of the overall work programme. This was designed to lead to improved capacity and safety as air traffic demand increased relentlessly every year.
The EANPG established a Task Force on Air Navigation Multinational Project Financing and endorsed, for approval by Council, general guidelines on the establishment and provision of a multinational ICAO EUR air navigation facility/service. The general guidelines addressed two main areas:
the development and processing of proposals for multinational ICAO EUR Air Navigation facilities or services; and
the associated financial, managerial and other contractual aspects.
Work continued vigorously in the field of air traffic flow management with particular emphasis on the implementation aspects of an integrated ATFM Service in the EUR Region and on matters related to the use of a Central Data Bank (CDB) for strategic ATFM planning. A provisional ATFM procedure was developed including an initial set of basic principles on radar planning. All these activities were the beginning of the Centralized ATFM System in place as of the 1990’s which further led towards what was eventually to become known as the Single European Sky (SES) initiative of the European Union (EU).
Work towards the progressive implementation of area navigation (RNAV) techniques had been reinforced by a recommendation of the EUR/7 RAN Meeting. Activities accelerated and led to operational trials and the establishment of terminal area procedures based on RNAV. Considerable work commenced on issues of automation of the Aeronautical Information Service (AIS), leading a decade later to functioning automated services and contributing to the Single European Sky initiative as an important enabling and supporting service.
Aeronautical radio frequency assignments for the EUR Region became an increasingly pressing issue in light of growing demand for capacity, air traffic control sector enhancement and related communication and radio navigation requirements. Action continued to promote unrestricted use in the EUR Region of 25 kHz spacing between VHF channels as a palliative for aeronautical radio frequency shortages. This difficult issue occupied planners well into the future and gave rise to a further channel splitting to 8.33 kHz about a decade later.
Studies continued on the planning and implementation of an improved EUR Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunications Network (AFTN) intended to meet the total fixed service data communication requirements in the EUR Region. Furthermore, guidelines for the introduction of the Microwave Landing System (MLS) as a complement to the Instrument Landing System (ILS) in the EUR Region were developed and the preparation of a coordinated EUR MLS implementation plan had commenced.
, and in order to move forward towards implementation of this facility, the EANPG established a task force on the Central Data Bank (CDB) for ATFM purposes to develop proposals concerning financial, managerial and other contractual aspects, including equitable cost distribution and recovery procedures to be applied in respect of the CDB once it would be accepted for operational use in the integrated ATFM service.
Furthermore, in response to world wide progress with the “Future Air Navigation System” (FANS) concept (later to become the ICAO CNS/ATM System), the EANPG established the terms of reference and work programme for the EANPG Working Group on a Future European ATS System Concept (FEATS). The work of the FEATS Group became a pioneer undertaking in furthering the modernization of the European air navigation system. Closest cooperation was assured with all concerned stakeholders, namely IATA, IFALPA, and most notably Eurocontrol. This close cooperation between ICAO and the many stake holders would grow most fruitfully over the years and decades to the benefit of the aviation industry as a whole.
Quite unfortunately, the ever increasing financial difficulties of ICAO started to seriously affect work programmes at around this time. Serious slippages and downgrading of priorities of the work programme became inevitable and presented most challenging managerial problems for all concerned particularly in conjunction with air traffic developments in the EUR Region. The EANPG became quite outspoken on this issue and expressed concern regarding the implications for air navigation planning in the face of growing traffic demand and rapidly advancing technological progress, in both the short and medium term and the need for ICAO to remain responsive to States’ needs in the EUR and NAT Regions. In hindsight, this development had serious consequences and changed the role of ICAO in the EUR Region considerably.
In light of a shortage of ATS route designators, the world wide ICAO provisions had been changed to make available a greater number of codes required. The Regional Office gave extensive assistance to States in preparing a programme for re-designation of ATS routes in accordance with the provisions of Annex 11 to the Chicago Convention.
and the period around it marked a most interesting turning point in aviation history in Europe, as well as in that of the ICAO EUR/NAT Office. It is the time when the things we feared and the things we hoped for appeared to have all come together. The traffic demand, predictably, had continued to grow and the congestion had its predicted negative effects on the economy of airlines and on the flying public. It reached political proportions of great significance and it coincided with the massive geopolitical changes in the Region. Within a very short period of time, the number of independent States that required services from the Regional Office had risen by 22 with very considerable demands on assistance in every aviation related domain. If combined with the financial difficulties of ICAO, it became quite clear that the next few years would require a massive change in the response for services of the Office in order to cope with these challenges, which it had to achieve without increase of its resources. It was necessary to shift work to other organizations that were able and willing to take the load. It was notably Eurocontrol, which stepped in to assist in many ways. Some domains that had been in the realm of ICAO were transferred to Eurocontrol for their area of concern in the coming few years, notably Air Traffic Management (ATM) planning, AIS Automation, ATS route planning, radio frequency planning, and others. As a result, the cooperation between these two organizations had grown closer than ever before and yielded fruitful results.
The period was marked by a significant number of initiatives taken by the Office aimed at the development of short and medium-term actions to alleviate the congestion of air traffic in certain parts of the EUR Region in response to concerns expressed by the Directors General of Civil Aviation of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC).
In this general atmosphere, the EANPG took action to resolve current implementation problems and agreed on medium term measures to further improve the European Air Navigation System. It endorsed a new concept for a centralized Air Traffic Flow Management Organization (CTMO) and an associated phased implementation plan. It also established an enhanced programme of activities related to capacity improvement and congestion relief.
The EANPG gave particular attention to the urgent need to improve the ATC system in view of the situation created by an unprecedented traffic growth operating in a capacity restricted environment. It continued its work towards the provision of an integrated Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) Service for the EUR Region It also agreed to the setting up of the now mature European data base for ATFM purposes, to be jointly supported by the Eurocontrol Data Bank (DBE) and the COMECON Data Bank (DBC). Arrangements for such cooperation were to be based on the general guidelines on the establishment and provision of multinational ICAO EUR air navigation facility/services, acted upon by the ICAO Council. It was heartening to see that the comprehensive work undertaken by all concerned now started to bear fruit in an exceedingly difficult environment.
The EANPG also agreed to accelerate the work of its Future European ATS System Concept (FEATS) Group and advance its work programme by one year. It continued its work in the field of air traffic flow management with particular emphasis on the centralization of the ATFM service in the EUR Region and on matters related to the use of flight data for strategic ATFM planning. It confirmed the urgent need for improvements of the ATC system capacity to meet the expected traffic developments now foreseen in the EUR Region.
Furthermore, the guidance material on AIS automation in the European Region was revised and sent to States for their use. The EANPG succeeded with the development of a coordinated plan for the EUR ILS/MLS transition for the phased introduction of the MLS in the EUR Region. At hindsight one must state that not much of that plan made it into reality, however.
Of particular importance in
were the Group’s endorsement of a comprehensive conceptual air traffic management system for the European Region, and the tasking of its Future European ATS System Concept (FEATS) Group, the working group which had developed the concept, to prepare a plan for the phased and orderly implementation of the various elements of the ATS system. In the face of increasing pressure and difficulties with ever increasing flight delays, the EANPG also sponsored an emergency meeting on air traffic flow management tasked with ameliorating serious problems anticipated by air transport operators in the summer of 1989.
With the emergence of the FEATS concept, the EANPG felt it necessary to place the whole air navigation planning process under the FEATS umbrella. Recognizing that this would require a closer coordination of the activities of the EANPG contributory bodies than had hitherto been possible, it was decided to undertake a review of the planning process with a view to delegating the day-to-day management activities of the planning machinery to the European Office of ICAO. In order to ensure efficient management of air navigation planning towards earliest implementation of FEATS as an integral part of the EUR Air Navigation Plan, the EANPG established a planning review team to carry out this task.
A review of procedural arrangements for the practical implementation of the CTMO in relation to various developments in the Western parts of the European Region concentrated on the co-ordination between ICAO and Eurocontrol with respect to further work being carried out for the enhancement of the Data Bank Eurocontrol (DBE) as well as the establishment of the Central Executive Unit for ATFM measures to be applied in the Western part of the EUR Region as required by Transport Ministers of ECAC States. It was particularly important to monitor policies, procedures and requirements for the EUR integrated ATFM service, having due regard to technical developments in the Eastern part of the Region, in particular with respect to the Data Bank COMECON (DBC).
The earlier proposal concerning financial, managerial and other constitutional aspects was adapted as necessary to now also apply to an integrated data bank located in Moscow. Consideration was given to a Eurocontrol proposal to the effect that it would absorb all chargeable costs of its data bank service by its members, thus obviating the need to apply ICAO guidelines on multinational facilities/services and thereby reducing ICAO’s overview requirement; a corresponding agreement would ensure implementation of the service as established in accordance with the EUR Regional Air Navigation Plan.
A Workshop on Traffic Forecasting and Economic Planning was convened by the Regional Office to examine ways and means to establish a reliable and cooperative methodology for forecasting of air traffic which would apply to airline, airport and air navigation systems planning, as well as a link between passenger growth and the increase in aircraft movements which became the essential criterion for ATS systems planners.
With all these developments aimed at a greater degree of efficiency in air navigation, a restructuring of the European ATS route network had to be envisaged which called for in-depth consultation between civil and military administrations with a view towards developing, wherever possible, area type controlled airspace with a flexible use of the airspace as a common resource
The EUR ILS/MLS transition plan was revised line with new developments arising. It was possible to put forward a strategy that had as its main feature dual equipment (ILS and MLS) on the ground to give a large measure of flexibility to aircraft operators, if and when equipping aircraft with ILS/MLS airborne equipment. This was intended to allow best use of available facilities by those that were ready and equipped for the use of advanced airborne technology (multi-purpose receiver).
During that time, work continued towards the progressive introduction of area navigation (RNAV) techniques. Criteria for precision RNAV, operational trials and terminal procedures based on RNAV were devised. A survey showed that some 43 RNAV routes had been established prior to summer 1989.
Illustrating the ever closer inter-relationship between the two organizations, ICAO was, in February 1989, represented for the first time represented at the meetings of the Eurocontrol Committee of Management where major issues of concern to both organizations were discussed. At its subsequent meeting in April, this Committee acted on the creation of a Central Executive Unit (CEU) West for traffic flow management in the Western part of Europe, and on the handling of financial and managerial aspects of the future CEU data base Europe. Additionally, the Committee proposed a delineation of work between ICAO and Eurocontrol in ATFM matters, and took measures in line with the policy of Directors General of Civil Aviation to enhance European ATC capacity.
In the same year the ICAO Regional Office began to participate in technical meetings of ECAC, as that organization became increasingly involved in air navigation technical issues.
the European Air Navigation Planning Group (EANPG), reached agreement on a number of important issues, including the endorsement of the Future European Air Traffic Management System (FEATS) Implementation Strategy and a restructuring of its management system and the consequential strengthening of the coordination role of the ICAO Regional Director with respect to the EANPG technical work programme. The EANPG also decided on initial action to be taken for integrating the “new” Eastern European States into the existing European air navigation strategies and discussed specific problems in the fields of air traffic services and airport operation as well as aeronautical communications and meteorological services. It reviewed reports of contributory and other regional bodies and confirmed the requirement for the scheduling of a Special European Regional Air Navigation Meeting by 1994
Following the political developments in the Gulf area, contingency coordinating teams were established at Headquarters and in five Regional Offices concerned (Bangkok, Cairo, Dakar, Nairobi and Paris). In co-operation with the Contracting States concerned and in close co-ordination with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as well as the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA), alternative routings were identified in order to meet the needs of civil air traffic between Asia, Europe and Africa. These contingency arrangements were continuously monitored and updated in light of the development of the situation in the Gulf area, (First Iraq War) with a view to maintaining the safety, efficiency and regularity of international civil aviation.
A first ICAO meeting on integration of the “new” Eastern European States into existing European air navigation strategies made recommendations on the basis of information provided by the participants on planning and implementation mechanisms, strategies and intentions in the EUR Region, as well as actions to be taken and concepts to be agreed upon in order to facilitate harmonization and integration of all European civil aviation infrastructures at the earliest possible time. A major part of these discussions concerned practical steps to be taken in the areas of technical cooperation and project funding to assist the States in the Eastern part of Europe to progressively evolve their infrastructures in a coherent and compatible fashion.
In follow-up of the recommendation of the emergency meeting in June 1988, planning continued to develop a cooperative structural airspace concept covering the major traffic flows in the EUR Region. After a series of workshops the proposals were ready for a new ATS trunk routes network above FL 300, to be implemented in 1993. This was considered a major step forward towards shortening of flight trajectories and thus important cost savings.
ICAO was represented at the Ministerial meeting of ECAC Member States during which the Ministers in charge of civil aviation adopted the ECAC strategy related to European airspace congestion, which was largely based on cooperative work of all important stake holders.
the implementation of the new ATS airspace structures, the new ATS Trunk Route Network and the Centralized ATFM Organization (CTMO) were reviewed. The EANPG voiced concern over, and proposed action in respect of the persistent problem of shortage of VHF air/ground communication channels. The results of the first ICAO meeting on integration of Eastern European States into existing air navigation strategies were noted with appreciation. A second such meeting was convened to develop a detailed work programme of items that required work to be advanced at high speed. In a financial task force a comprehensive listing was developed of possible funding methods and sources for the rapid development of the infrastructure in the Eastern part of the EUR Region.
As of this year, attention was focused particularly on the interface aspects, and the impact on the European ATC system of the soon expected implementation of the reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM) above FL 290 in the North Atlantic Region.
In the Search and Rescue (SAR) field, a seminar, jointly organized by ICAO and France, was held in Toulouse. The seminar emphasized the use of new and innovative techniques and means to enhance SAR cost effectiveness while saving more lives, such as full use of the COSPAS-SARSAT satellite based Search and Rescue system.
In the Aeronautical Telecommunications (COM) field, the problems of radio interference to the aeronautical mobile service and radio navigation services from non-aeronautical sources became an issue of particular concern because of its inherent safety implications. The related discussions were of a considerably difficult nature because of the commercial, financial and political aspects involved.
major reviews were carried out covering the strategy for the implementation of Area Navigation (RNAV) in the EUR Region, the implementation of the new ATS airspace structure, the ATS Trunk Route Network and the Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) Organization. The EANPG also reviewed proposals concerning Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR) Mode S, ILS/MLS transition, matters relating to AIS planning, and the process of integration of Eastern European States into existing European Strategies,
The ICAO Regional Director conducted several missions and meetings related to the deployment of the UN Protection Forces (UNPROFOR) in former Yugoslavia and the possible opening of the airspace in the area for international civil aviation overflights. This activity resulted in a number of agreements amongst the parties concerned enabling UNPROFOR flight movements and was expected to contribute towards gradual normalization of the international traffic flow situation in the area. In this context it should be noted that ICAO continued its efforts to restore a regular flow of traffic through Slovenia, Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) to off-load the congested contingency routings through Austria, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria.
With regard to the complex issue of ILS/MLS Transition, information from States indicated that progress had been made on programmes related to the transition. These programmes included, in particular, collection of operational experience, advanced RNAV capability demonstration, evaluation of advanced RNAV procedures in multi-airport environments, frequency analyses and assessment of new technologies. The United States’ MLS demonstration programme had been completed, providing significant results concerning various aspects of the ILS/MLS transition. MLS ground equipment was being operated in 10 States globally, including some 25 MLS installations in the North American and European Regions. Most of these installations were being used for test and demonstration purposes; others had been commissioned for regular commuter operations or certified for operational data collection. An operational data collection programme was under way in Europe with two major airlines participating. Ground equipment available at the time was capable of supporting MLS operations equivalent to ILS Category I. The equipment that could also meet integrity and continuity of service requirements necessary to provide for Category II/III approach and landing operations was still under development. Certification of MLS for operations equivalent to ILS Category II/III was planned for 1994-1995. Production of this equipment had been announced at the time as being expected as of 1996. Regarding MLS avionics, at least three manufacturers had certified their basic MLS receivers for use in different aircraft types and a number of aircraft types had already been certified for various types of MLS operations.
All ICAO regions were continuing with the development of their transition plans. In light of these progress reports, the European (EUR) ILS/MLS Transition Plan approved in 1990 was revised to take into account regional developments on MLS. The United States at that time planned to implement 26 Category I MLS installations beginning in mid-1992. In addition, two contracts were to be awarded for the design and development of MLS equipment of Category II/III performance, and two contractors were expected to produce up to eleven prototype systems each Following successful demonstration and testing of the systems in 1995, full production contracts were to be awarded with the delivery of approximately 140 systems per year, beginning in 1996. Procurement plans in Canada included MLS installation at the fist 11 sites between 1993-1995, and the next 29 from 1996 to 1998.
In the MET field, the EANPG undertook a close scrutiny of the technical description of the satellite system for the distribution of WAFS products in service areas 1 (Western part) and 7 (SADIS) to ensure compatibility with similar systems developed for other service areas. The system under consideration was eventually endorsed by the EANPG for implementation in service areas 1 and 7. Consideration was also given to the feasibility of extending the service of the system to the entire Africa and Indian Ocean (AFI) Region; to this effect, planning activities were expanded and proposals made to the AFI Planning and Implementation Regional Group (APIRG) for its consideration. In this context, proposals concerning the institutional arrangements including cost recovery for the satellite system were developed.
the Regional Office continued its close working relationship with the United Nations Protection Forces (UNPROFOR) in former Yugoslavia. Efforts were made with all States concerned to achieve a progressive reopening of the airspace in the area and in certain parts air traffic was indeed able to resume. With the help of ICAO a number of international airports had again been linked with the international route network.
The EANPG was called upon to consider the procedural and legal aspects of Eurocontrol assuming to coordinate the planning and implementation of ATS routes in the whole of the EUR Region and to do so on behalf of the EANPG. This development had become necessary since the Regional Office no longer had the means to provide the necessary services from its own resources with the required speed. Special procedures were devised to ensure that the EANPG would be kept in the picture and that, at the end of the exercise, the ICAO Council would still be seized with the approval of related proposals for amendment to the ICAO EUR Regional Air Navigation Plan.
The EANPG also considered matters relating to the carriage of SSR Mode S transponders in the Region and to air navigation developments in the Eastern part of Europe. Action was taken on various issues pertaining to the scarcity of channels in the VHF band in the EUR Region and to the progressive overloading of the Meteorological Operational Telecommunications Network Europe (MOTNE) system. Decisions were also taken on several items concerning the implementation of a satellite distribution system for World Area Forecast System (WAFS) products in service areas 1, 4, 6 and 7. In preparation for the Special EUR RAN Meeting, scheduled for 1994, proposals concerning a new format for the EUR ANP were examined.
The Regional Office was also involved in meetings of Central European States, in follow-up of a decision by Transport Ministers of Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia and Slovenia to carry out a reorganization of the entire air traffic control function in the Upper Airspace of the States concerned. This became known later as the Central European Air Traffic Services (CEATS) Project. Work in this field revealed itself as extremely complex and stayed on the work programme for more than a decade since. Similarly, assistance was provided to the Baltic States, in the context of the integration of Eastern European States into Existing European Air Navigation Strategies (EES) for the purpose of addressing the organization of airspace in the Baltic area.
As a result of the increasing involvement of other international bodies in the regional planning processes, the ICAO Regional Office, in its function to promote and foster planning, development and implementation of international air transport (as defined in Article 44 of the Chicago Convention), spent increasing amounts of time coordinating its work with other organizations. This was particularly true with regard to the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) and Eurocontrol where programmes aimed at the development of specific air navigation systems are well advanced. In addition to the European Air Traffic Control (ATC) Harmonization and Integration Programme (EATCHIP), Eurocontrol and ECAC’s Airport and Air Traffic System Interface Task Force (APATSI) were already in the process of preparing detailed technical work for the development of the system. The ICAO Paris Office therefore provided the necessary interface between the ECAC/Eurocontrol areas of coverage and those parts of the Region not covered by such programmes as EATCHIP and APATSI.
Work continued with the aim of developing a cooperative structural airspace concept covering the major traffic flows in the Region and the establishment of an ATS trunk route network above FL 300. A proposal for amendment of the EUR Air Navigation Plan had been prepared and circulated for that purpose. The first phase of implementation took place in November 1993.
The EUR ILS/MLS Transition Plan was given particular attention in preparation for the Special EUR RAN Meeting (1994) and in view of the upcoming world-wide Special COM/OPS Divisional Meeting at ICAO Headquarters in Montreal. Other important subjects addressed were noise control strategies, deicing procedures, surface movement guidance and control systems (SMGCS) and associated visual aids, airport capacity assessment and forecasts, aircraft operations on intersecting/converging runways, and take offs from taxiway intersections.
With the emergence of 15 new Contracting States from the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, as well as the creation of five new States from the former Yugoslavia and the creation of two new States from the former Czechoslovakia, the demand for technical cooperation in the European Region had developed rapidly. This urgent demand spanned the entire spectrum of civil aviation and called for decisive action by ICAO, if full integration of these new States into the over-all European air transport system was to be achieved safely, efficiently and cost-effectively. Many technical cooperation efforts were being undertaken by other entities (Eurocontrol, the European Community, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), OECD, as well as firms and consortia, etc.) and many of them were carried out on an individual and uncoordinated basis. However, contacts were made between ICAO and these entities to coordinate planning and implementation in the interest of orderly progress and cost-effectiveness of the various efforts. During that period, coordination meetings with staff from the Commission of the European Communities (CEC) were held in Brussels regarding the feasibility study carried out in the Baltic States and Albania to determine ways and means to upgrade and modernize the air traffic service systems.
the most noteworthy event for the EUR Region was the Special European Regional Air Navigation Meeting (SP EUR) which was held in Vienna, 5 to 14 September of that year. The meeting was the third regional air navigation meeting, globally, held since the adoption by the ICAO Assembly of the ICAO CNS/ATM systems. The meeting focused its discussion on various arrangements necessary for a smooth transition to the ICAO CNS/ATM systems in the region, including the ICAO European regional air navigation planning processes, the structure of the European Air Navigation Plan and the formulation of the European CNS/ATM Plan as well as the consideration of VHF congestion and transition to new precision approach and landing systems.
Following review of the role of the European Air Navigation Planning Group (EANPG) to improve its ability to meet the challenges resulting from the ICAO CNS/ATM systems, the meeting recommended revised terms of reference, working arrangements and composition for the EANPG. The meeting also recommended a new format for the Air Navigation Plan with an associated Facilities and Services Implementation Document (FASID). Taking into account the global coordinated plan for transition to the CNS/ATM systems, the Initial Operational Concept Document (IOCD) for European Air Traffic Management Systems (EATMS) developed by Eurocontrol and the Future European Air Traffic Management Systems (FEATS) concept and strategy developed by the EANPG, the meeting recommended that the EANPG be charged to develop as soon as possible a European CNS/ATM regional plan.
With respect to the subject of VHF congestion in some parts of the European Region, the meeting recommended the introduction of 8.33 kHz VHF channel spacing in the EUR Region and developed a related strategy to assist States in this regard. Furthermore, the meeting adopted a coordinated transition strategy from ILS to new precision approach and landing systems for the EUR Region.
In the field of technical cooperation, close working arrangements were established between the ICAO Technical Cooperation Bureau and the European and North Atlantic Office in Paris as the civil aviation requirements of the new States emerging from the former Czechoslovakia, the former Soviet Union and former Yugoslavia became increasingly apparent. Although not all new States could be covered due to budgetary and other constraints, a number of important technical missions were carried out to several of these States. The most immediate need for assistance was in the area of knowledge transfer on civil aviation matters and adjustment of legal and regulatory provisions of the new States to correspond to ICAO provisions, as well as in the crucial area of personnel training. Major modernization efforts were necessary on ATS equipment and facilities. While much of this work fell within the Office’s regular programme tasks, a widening field of technical cooperation activity became quickly apparent.
The Regional Offices of ICAO all established a system of Aviation Security (AVSEC) Coordinators who acted as responsible focal points in this domain of increasing importance. These coordinators performed various aviation security functions at the regional level. Efforts were made to achieve, through Regional Office staff, effective coordination between the regular programme, the ICAO Mechanism for financial, technical, and material assistance to States with regard to aviation security, bilateral programmes and technical cooperation projects in the field of aviation security.
meetings were held of a special EANPG Task Force in order to analyze Council action on the report of the 1994 Special EUR RAN Meeting and to organize follow-up action. The Task Force agreed on the action required by the EANPG for the development and implementation of CNS/ATM systems in the European Region. It also noted the outcome of the world-wide Special COM/OPS Divisional Meeting related to VHF congestion and the transition to new precision approach and landing systems. The Task Force reviewed the working methods of the EANPG and its contributory bodies, and agreed to establish a Programme Coordinating Group (COG) to conduct work between EANPG meetings and prepare material for the full group. The first COG meeting was held in November to set up a mechanism which would help facilitate and co-ordinate the work of the EANPG between meetings, avoid duplication of work in any form and maintain a dialogue with other Regions.
In the ATM field concerning the Eastern Part of the EUR Region, activities concentrated on the development of a strategic ATM planning document for that area and to establish of a coherent project for training of air traffic controllers and technicians and to resolve a number of the most important differences between ICAO rules and those of national administrations.
the EANPG emphasized work on advanced surface movement guidance and control systems (A-SMGCS) at the regional level and by providing input at the ICAO world-wide levels. MLS and the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) were important topics, as was the transition planning for 8.33 kHz VHF channel-spacing. SADIS (satellite distribution of WAFS products), including its possible use for the collection and dissemination of AIS data, were considered. Momentum was maintained with activities in the Eastern part of the EUR Region.
The Regional Office again served meetings of Directors General of Civil Aviation of Central European States, in response to a Ministerial decision to reorganize the air traffic control function in the upper airspace of that area. Assistance was also provided to the Baltic and Black Sea States on airspace organization in those areas. After efforts by the Regional Office, States and international organizations that spanned some thirty years, States concerned finally agreed in October 1996 on a package for the efficient organization of the airspace structure over the Black Sea. This agreement was facilitated by the considerable overall political change in the EUR Region that had set in at that time.
Following a request by the NATO Implementation Force (IFOR) and the Office of the EU High Representative (OHR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, significant support was provided to the effort being made to re-open Sarajevo and Banja Luka airports. The Office also contributed to the consultations held between States concerned and Eurocontrol, aiming at gradually re-opening the upper airspace of Sarajevo FIR to international air traffic.
A strategy was agreed for the frequency management aspects of 8.33 kHz channel spacing in Europe with a view to developing a detailed implementation plan. Action for dealing with harmful radio interference and for ensuring that radio frequency spectrum requirements are taken into account in International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and other frequency standards for a was recommended.
The Regional Office provided co-ordination with civil aviation administrations of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus on possible technical co-operation projects. Ukraine and Uzbekistan expressed their interest in closer co-operation with the Office in the field of technical co-operation. Work also was initiated on the Civil Aviation Master Plan (CAMP) for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In the field of aviation security (AVSEC) the ongoing objective of the Regional Office was the implementation of the security provisions contained in ICAO Annex 17 and ECAC Doc 30 in a harmonized fashion on a Europe wide basis. In this context, work was undertaken on security of cargo, bomb threats to aircraft in flight, X-ray equipment specifications, and the detection of detonators. In addition, three ICAO/ECAC training events, designed to be of particular value to Central and Eastern European States, were held in the Region. Following an offer from Belgium to provide infrastructure, ICAO approved the establishment of the European Regional Aviation Security (AVSEC) Training Institute in Brussels. This institution had the potential capacity to provide training not only in civil aviation security but also in other aviation disciplines. In addition, two sub-regional training centers were established in Kyiv (Ukraine) and Moscow (Russian Federation).
significant support continued to the international effort aimed at the rehabilitation of civil aviation authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. An upper airspace portion of Sarajevo FIR was reopened to international traffic in April 1997 through an agreement between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Croatia for the provision of ATS within that airspace by Beograd and Zagreb ACCs, respectively
A wide-scale multi-disciplinary mission involving staff from the Regional Office was conducted in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the purpose of developing a Civil Aviation Master Plan. Further assistance was provided in the development of a new structure for a Civil Aviation Administration responsible to the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina in which all parties would be equitably represented. This structure was put in place before the end of the year and supported by an international secretariat which was to begin its work in early 1998.
The new European Regional Aviation Security Training Institute, located in Brussels, was inaugurated in November 1997 by the President of the Council of ICAO, who signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Belgian Minister of Transport. The main objective of the Institute was to establish a training centre of excellence in the European Region for the enhancement of aviation security. In the same year, an instructor course and a crisis management course were held at the newly established sub-regional Aviation Security Training Centre in Casablanca. Progress in the development of the sub-regional AVSEC training centers in Kyiv and Moscow was also evaluated during the year.
was the year of renovation of the Regional Office in Paris. The ICAO conference centre was entirely refurbished and a majority of the office facilities was renewed. Despite the unavoidable disruptions, delegates and staff bravely put up extra effort to keep the work programme together as best as possible.
The Regional Office was very active in preparing the first ICAO Informal Trans-Asia/Trans-Siberia/ Cross- Polar Routes High Level Steering Group (ITASPS/l) meeting, which was chaired by the President of the Council in Moscow from 2 to 4 April 1998 on trams-Asian, trans-Siberian and cross-polar air traffic services.
The Office was extensively involved in coordinating its work with other organizations, particularly with the European Commission, the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) and the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol), further to the preliminary implementation of its Revised Convention in 1997.
In the context of an ICAO/Eurocontrol agreement signed in 1996 between the two Organizations, a database containing five-letter name-codes and ATS route designators for allocation in the EUR Region, accessible by States’ authorized users over the Internet, was developed and implemented in February 1998. The facility was named and became known as the ICAO Codes and Route Designators (ICARD) System. A seminar on civil/military co-ordination, organized for the States of the Eastern part of the EUR Region, was held to exchange views and experience in this field in light of the changed political situation in the Region, taking into account relevant activities of various international organizations (ICAO, NATO, Eurocontrol).
Development continued on planning for the implementation of 8.33 kHz VHF channel spacing in the EUR Region. Transfer of all the COM tables to the database provided for ICAO by Eurocontrol had reached a final stage, with only minor elements remaining to be finalized.
ICAO, in close cooperation with the Government of Sweden, the Commission of the European Communities (CEC) and the Office of the High Representative (OHR), assisted Bosnia and Herzegovina to establish the most efficient civil aviation administration structure to respond effectively to the responsibility emanating from its adherence to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago, 1944). Fundamental to development of civil aviation in the State were the formation of a central joint Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) and the constitution of an International Secretariat (IS), which provided assistance and advice to key DCA personnel and prepared the regulatory framework for civil aviation activities. The IS also provided the technical expertise required to implement parts of the Civil Aviation Master Plan (CAMP) developed by ICAO and financed by CEC and ensured that civil aviation in Bosnia and Herzegovina complied with International Standards and Recommended Practices. Based on the agreement with CEC, the Government of Sweden provided the funds and human resources necessary to perform all the functions required in relation to the initial phase of the IS activities in 1998.
In the EUR Region, aviation security and training had reached a turning point. The first Sub-regional Aviation Security Training Facility, located in Kyiv, was inaugurated in March by the President of the Council, who signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Centre, the Kyiv International University of Civil Aviation and the Vice-Minister of Transport. The second Sub-regional Aviation Security Training Centre in Moscow was inaugurated in June1998. Cooperation agreements were concluded between the European Aviation Security Training Institute (EASTI) and the sub-regional centers located in Casablanca and Kyiv. EASTI, with the sub-regional aviation security training centre in Casablanca already operating, and the newly established centers in Kyiv and Moscow, commenced to provide a wide range of AVSEC training courses for the States in the Region. It was foreseen that the strategic placement of these regional/sub-regional centers could provide the necessary capacity to meet international geographical demand within the Region.
saw extensive preparations made by all Regional Offices to address the issues of the transition to the year 2000 as far as automated computerized equipment in civil aviation was concerned. This global problem was known as the “Y2K” transition.
The Regional Offices all pursued activities regarding:
the further development of sub-regional approaches to the planning and implementation process for CNS/ATM and its integration into the regional air navigation planning mechanism;
the enhancement of interregional coordination for the integrated and coordinated implementation of Regional Air Navigation Plans;
the cooperation with other international bodies in the establishment of civil GNSS;
the development and follow-up of the ICAO Global Plan and regional and national plans for CNS/ATM;
the assistance to States in the development of the capacity of their air navigation systems and in cost-recovery and organizational arrangements for the provision of air navigation services;
the provision of remedial responses to identified safety shortcomings in the air navigation field; and
the creation of databases and the dissemination of information on CNS/ ATM implementation.
In addition the EANPG, supported by the European and North Atlantic Office achieved important milestones in reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM) implementation planning. It took a variety of measures to improve the delivery of AIS, MET and volcanic ash services and adopted a European Regional Air Navigation Strategy to ensure harmonious CNS/ATM transition planning throughout the Region.
In addition, the Regional Office was instrumental in the conclusion of an agreement with States concerned on the organization of the airspace structure over the Baltic Sea, and the convening of a meeting on the normalization of air navigation services in Balkan area with the intention of opening the airspace to international civil aviation as soon as possible in 2000.
Furthermore, the work of an ICAO team which made a technical evaluation of Pristina airport in the Kosovo Province of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was finalized. A strategic ATM planning document and the development of a document on training needs of States in the Eastern part of the Region was completed. The Regional Office was an important player in achieving the agreement by the ICAO Informal Trans- Asia/Trans-Siberia/Cross Polar Routes High-Level Steering Group (ITASPS) on the alignment and the implementation dates a set of cross-polar ATS transit routes linking North America with the Russian Federation and Asia.
The establishment of the regional Y2K contingency management cell in close cooperation with Eurocontrol was an important contribution to the overall success of ensuring a smooth and uneventful transition of the global air navigation system in the night from 31 December 1999 to 1 January 2000.
During the year
, the Regional Office furthered the development of sub-regional approaches to the planning and implementation process for CNS/ATM systems and their integration into the regional air navigation planning mechanism. Inter-regional coordination became a major factor to ensure compatible planning and implementation across regional delimitations. There was enhanced cooperation with other international bodies involved with the establishment of civil global navigation satellite systems (GNSS). The development and follow-up of the ICAO Global Plan received special attention. Assistance was provided to States in the development of their air navigation systems capacity and remedial action was proposed in response to identified safety shortcomings in the air navigation field. A number of Special Implementation Projects were financed by ICAO and administered by the Regional Office.
Work continued in support of the establishment of a professionally managed Civil Aviation Administration in Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to provide safe and efficient civil aviation in that State and in the airspace over the Balkan area. Considerable assistance was provided to the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in the Kosovo Province of Serbia and Montenegro (UNMIK) in conducting safe civil aviation operations in the area. Development of plans to move towards implementation of the 300 m (1000 ft) reduced vertical separation minimum and of Airborne Collision Avoidance Systems (ACAS) in the EUR Region was advanced vigorously.
A mechanism was devised to provide a high-level aviation radio spectrum strategy that takes account of all relevant ATM aspects of the EUR Region. Development work took place in the MET/ATS field to address future aviation MET data and information requirements in the Region, particularly in respect to airport capacity issues. For the first time, inter-regional coordination meetings were convened, in this case between the EUR and AFI Regions.
From 2000 onwards, the ICAO safety oversight audit results were routinely scrutinized to assist States in taking corrective action where necessary in response to recommendations made by such audits. Suitable safety oversight training workshops were held to disseminate related know-how and to motivate and enhance awareness of the State aviation officials concerned. In the framework of transfer of knowledge, and in cooperation with IATA, an ATM Seminar was held for Eastern European States in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
considerable work was undertaken, in close coordination with ICAO Headquarters and States in the Region to prepare for the protection of civil aviation radio frequencies at the forthcoming International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Radiocommunication Conference (2003) and the securing of support for ICAO in that regard. Furthermore, assistance was provided, in close cooperation with the ICAO ASIA/PAC Regional Office (Bangkok), to States involved with the establishment of the trans-polar and cross-polar route system, which offered considerable savings to airlines through shorter direct routes between the Far East and the North American continent.
At the level of the EANPG, further significant steps were taken to improve the efficiency of the Group including the restructuring of the working arrangements for its contributory bodies. Important milestones were achieved in RVSM implementation planning, including the confirmation of the date of 24 January 2002 for implementation. The serious issue of anticipated VHF communications capacity shortage in the foreseeable future was addressed, including the possible vertical expansion of the 8.33 kHz area of operation by 2008 as an inevitable measure to remedy the projected shortfalls.
the planning of horizontal expansion of the area of 8.33 kHz VHF channel spacing was completed. Efforts were strengthened to resolve safety-related issues such as runway safety, air traffic management safety and security, and safety regulation and management. Knowledge transfer remained an important element of the work programme of the Regional Office, which organized seminars and workshops concerning the introduction of, and transition to, CNS/ATM as well as workshops for senior aviation officials of the States in the Eastern part of the EUR Region.
The Regional Office, in close coordination with Eurocontrol, and the EANPG embarked on a close review of the effects of the implementation of RVSM in the EUR Region which occurred in January 2002 as planned. Related to this, the EANPG continued with the development of requirements and mechanisms for the ongoing measurement of RVSM airspace safety performance in the EUR Region.
Thanks to continued assistance from the Regional Office, there were further positive developments in the normalization of the provision of services for civil aviation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the provision of air traffic services in the upper airspace of Sarajevo flight information region (FIR).
Extensive meeting activity was initiated by the Regional Office amongst States and international organizations concerned in preparation for the increased air traffic demand during the Olympic Games to be held in Athens in 2004. Continued discussions took place with NATO and the United Nations Interim Administration in the Kosovo Province (UNMIK) to re-open the upper airspace over the Province to international civil aviation. This activity, unfortunately, did not yield tangible results.
The Single European Sky concept of the European Commission took on concrete shape and work commenced to support this effort from the ICAO Regional Office side, in close cooperation with the EC and Eurocontrol.
the Regional Office was involved in improvements of the EUR air navigation system, in close cooperation with all concerned stake holders. This included flight planning; implementation of the World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS-84); and planning and implementation of ATS routes. The EUR Air Navigation Plan required updating in light of this activity, as did the updating and further development of regional provisions related to air traffic management;, the improvement of allocation and use of secondary surveillance radar (SSR) codes; the development of the aeronautical fixed services; and the improvement in the planning and implementation of radio spectrum and frequency assignment. In addition the development of All Weather Operations (AWO) in Europe, the updating and development of AIS and MET provisions relevant to ATM and aerodrome operations, and the updating and development of manuals of a regional nature were highlights of a busy year.
In addition, the Office liaised with States and international organization on the establishment of close coordination with the EC in advancing the Single European Sky concept in a harmonized manner, including preparatory work on aeronautical information for the proposed European upper flight information region (EUR UIR). The resolution of outstanding interface issues over the Black Sea and the improvement of air navigation services in the Balkan area (especially the Kosovo Province), and the coordination with NATO and UNMIK to reopen the airspace needed by international civil aviation occupied significant work capacity of the Regional Office. The planning for sufficient air traffic capacity to handle the expected increased demand during the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004 was successfully completed and the scheme was implemented without difficulty or incident, yielding fully the expected results.
By the end of 2004, the EANPG developed plans at the regional level in order to promote non-punitive incident reporting, the identification of significant safety issues and implementation of corrective action plans. These measures were recognized as important elements in air safety enhancement efforts. Ongoing safety performance measurement of RVSM airspace remained a significant element in regional safety activities. The next step in attempting to alleviate the forecast shortage of VHF communications capacity was the vertical expansion of 8.33 kHz airspace to FL 195 now planned to be implemented by March 2007. The EANPG undertook a joint activity with the NAT SPG to harmonize the operational requirements and develop convergence plans for the technical means of satisfying data link requirements for continental and oceanic airspace.
traffic growth posed challenging problems in the North Atlantic (NAT) Air Navigation Region as well. The North Atlantic Systems Planning Group (NAT SPG) considered the performance of operations in NAT minimum navigation performance specifications (MNPS) airspace, reviewed the separation standards applied in this airspace and discussed matters related to flight planning. It made a detailed review of the communications situation in the NAT Region and discussed matters related to future technological developments. This was ongoing work, accelerated because of the pressure of demand for additional capacity and enhanced safety, as well as by the technological progress that enabled advantageous new procedures and service improvements.
The NAT SPG agreed to set up a task force, the main objective of which was to plan for a phased and orderly implementation of the future communication navigation and surveillance (CNS) system, designed to enhance capacity in that region considerably.
the NAT SPG made a detailed review of the communications situation in the NAT Region and discussed matters related to future technological developments. It also established groups to plan for the implementation of 300m (1000 ft) vertical separation above FL 290 and to develop criteria for the automated exchange of ATC messages between ATC computers. A NAT SPG Task Force finalized the work on the Future North Atlantic Air Traffic Services Concept Description Document. This document was to serve as the basis for ATS planning for the forthcoming 25 years and had been endorsed by all NAT provider States and international organizations concerned.
the NAT SPG agreed that the future NAT ATS concept description Implementation Document (NAT ID), which had been developed during the year, should be used as the future planning framework for the NAT Region. Furthermore, a common Interface Control Document (ICD) was developed and approved. The documentation required by the forthcoming Limited NAT Regional Air Navigation Meeting was developed and finalized concerning future implementation of a 300 m (1000 ft) reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM) above FL 290.
The LIM NAT (COM/MET/RAC) Regional Air Navigation (RAN) Meeting was held in Cascais, Portugal, in November
). It developed improved planning methodologies pertaining to the implementation in the NAT Region of the ICAO Communications, Navigation and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) System over the following 10 to 15 years. The meeting took important decisions in this regard, governing the transition period from the existing aviation infrastructure and covering the communications, meteorology and air traffic management fields, the safe reduction of vertical and horizontal separation minima and a number of related technical aspects. The transition was to be accomplished by the NAT States providing the necessary facilities and services without interruptions to traffic flows while still maintaining high standards of safety at all times. To facilitate this process, the meeting developed an air navigation plan for the North Atlantic Region in a new two-part format: the ANP itself and a facilities and services implementation document (FASID) associated with it, spelling out in detail the various elements of the air navigation system.
the NAT SPG started studies aimed at reducing horizontal separation minima, taking into account the newly emerging technologies. The Group devoted a significant amount of time to follow up action on the Limited North Atlantic (COM/MET/RAC) Regional Air Navigation (LIM NAT RAN) Meeting (November 1992) and to planning for the implementation of the ICAO CNS/ATM systems. A review of work carried out by the various NAT SPG implementation working groups was undertaken and, where appropriate, decisions were taken or guidance provided to the working groups concerned. In order to ensure that the activities of the working groups were coordinated and the best use of available resources made, a project coordination mechanism was established.
a special meeting of the NAT SPG was convened in January to resolve outstanding issues relating to airspace monitoring with respect to the implementation of.300 m (1000 ft) vertical separation minimum between FL 290 and FL 410. Subsequent to this, a meeting of high-level civil aviation managers from NAT SPG member States was held to discuss policy and financial matters. At its meeting in June 1994, the NAT SPG carried out its customary technical operational system review. It also agreed to carry out studies aimed at reducing horizontal separation minima, taking into account newly emerging technologies. The NAT SPG devoted a significant amount of time to planning for the implementation of the ICAO CNS/ATM systems. In addition, the NAT SPG overhauled and streamlined its working methods.
, the NAT SPG gave further consideration to the implementation of reduced vertical separation minima in the NAT Region, now planned for 27 March 1997, and also agreed to carry out studies aimed at reducing horizontal separation minima.
The Group devoted a significant amount of time to planning for the implementation of CNS/ATM systems. One of their main tasks was to develop a high-level oceanic concept document as well as an ATM implementation plan for the period up to 2015.
the NAT SPG was in a position to review the implementation of reduced vertical separation minima in the NAT Region, which took place as planned on 27 March 1997 with great success. One additional task of importance was the development of a business plan in support of the ATM implementation plan for the period up to the year 2015.
for the NAT SPG the principal objectives were to ensure the over-all integrity of the NAT air navigation system and to plan for the implementation of new facilities and services, and in 1999 the NAT Region was mostly concerned with planning to mitigate the effects of the Year 2000 (Y2K) problem on the air navigation system, which was achieved flawlessly.
were mostly marked by the annual ongoing routine monitoring of the safety review of the NAT air navigation system as a whole, as well as planning for the implementation of CNS/ATM. These activities were less spectacular, albeit work intensive and most important in that any erosion of safety was to give rise to immediate corrective measures. One can but note with satisfaction that the situation remained stable and the efficiency of the system was within safety parameters without need for significant or exceptional measures.
, the NAT SPG endorsed the NAT Regional Flight Planning Manual which had been posted on the public area of the NAT website. It reviewed a detailed road map which provided an overview for the gradual phasing out of parts of the current high frequency (HF) infrastructure for voice communications and its replacement by data link technologies. While recognizing that the Aeronautical Telecommunications Network (ATN) remained the end-state, the NAT Region, like other parts of the world, had opted for FANS-1/A, which was used successfully in operational trials for Automatic Dependent Surveillance (ADS) and controller-pilot data link communications (CPDLC). The Group, wile endorsing the guidance material relating to satellite communications (SATCOM) voice waypoint position reporting trials, agreed that these trials be extended to the entire NAT Region and that consideration be given to include testing the uplink capabilities. Furthermore, it was agreed that a road map be developed for the use of SATOCM in the NAT Region. A workshop was convened dealing with safety management training programmes for air traffic controllers and pilots operating the NAT Region.
The NAT SPG undertook a joint activity with the EANPG to harmonize the operational requirements and develop convergence plans for the technical means of satisfying data link requirements for continental and oceanic airspace
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