Europe’s pilots set out prerequisites for the Single European Sky

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By admin April 13, 2015 19:14

Europe’s pilots set out prerequisites for the Single European Sky

The European Cockpit Association (ECA) has published a report on the Single European Sky (SES) project and its US counterpart NextGen, which describes both as vital projects for modernising Air Traffic Management.

SES will profoundly change the way flight operations are performed and will provide a much more strategic role for pilots, the ECA stated. “The future of flying in a Single European Sky” publication provides a strategic input into the debate on how to successfully modernise Europe’s Air Traffic Management (ATM).

“We are firm believers that the future of flying in Europe can only happen in a single, safe and sustainable European Sky,” says ECA President Dirk Polloczek. “Even if we do not hold the key to ‘unlocking’ the political deadlock on the Single European Sky, we do have the knowledge, front-line expertise and tools to shape this major ATM transformation jointly with other stakeholders. And we are committed to do so.”

With this publication, Europe’s pilot community reiterates that maintaining and increasing safety – in what will be a completely new operational environment – is not only crucial but an absolute precondition when moving forward with the SES initiative. Any new technologies or procedures must guarantee safe operations, even under the most demanding scenarios. Involving pilots in ‘reality checks’ of proposed solutions will therefore continue to be crucial. With the changing role for pilots in sight, new skills will have to be developed and trained. This in turn also illustrates how important it is for different systems and technologies to be compatible. Interoperability between e.g. NextGen in USA and the European system is an absolute necessity.

The new ECA publication was released at the 70th Annual Conference of the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) in Madrid, where the major ATM modernisation projects in Europe and the US were discussed by the global pilot community and ATM experts.

“Today’s IFALPA Conference offered a great platform to discuss the challenges stemming from the latest NextGen and SES developments,” says ECA Technical Board Director Álvaro Gammicchia. “For us as pilots, these projects are much more than just technical developments. These are a true revamp for our profession. New skills, new threats, new challenges and new opportunities are emerging for us, as the way we will be flying our airplanes in future will be completely different and more strategic than it is today. This is why our publication offers you a unique ‘sneak peek’ into the future of flying, from a crew perspective.”

The report also has a short section setting out the ECA position on cybercrime deterrence.

“The possibility of a cyberattack on airport, control tower and aircraft shall be envisaged” as part of any future pan-European system, according to the report, “and appropriate counter measures should be designed to minimize their impact.”

Separating in-flight entertainment from all other aircraft systems — a principle currently relied on by manufacturers and operators — “is highly desirable” and should continue, says the ECA.

admin
By admin April 13, 2015 19:14