The EU Liaison project resulted in a very timely input into existing discussions regarding the remaining calls for the Fourth Framework Programme and an ongoing debate at the highest levels in the European aviation community regarding the future organisational structure and operational relationships.
The EU Liaison project also served as a catalyst to bring together all of the known institutional ATM-related research projects ongoing in Europe. Through two coordination meetings, up to seven organisations undertaking complementary investigations into European-wide institutional issues impacting aviation participated in productive and worthwhile interchanges of information and status.
The EU Liaison project was designed to promote complementarity between the Commission of the European Communities (CEC) 1994 Actions in Air Transport and Eurocontrol, the European Space Agency (ESA), Member States, and other programmes. The provision of such advice and liaison support to Research Technology Development and Demonstration (RTD&D) and Implementation activities is best performed by impartial and objective individuals. This was accomplished by the project team comprising representatives from France, Germany, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom.
The project approach was designed to provide focus for the specific objectives of the original Directorate General XIII task description: advice and liaison actions for RTD&D and implementation actions in Air Traffic Management (ATM), Air Traffic Control (ATC), and Communications, Navigation, and Surveillance (CNS); and provision for a well planned process for the analysis and diffusion of the liaison results and the APAS technical results so as to enhance the level of information in industry and provide input to the Fourth Framework Programme. This was achieved through:
- liaison actions with Eurocontrol, Member States, ESA, Commission DGs, others (ICAO, NATO, non-EU)
- preparation of reports of liaison actions including recommendations, if appropriate.
Main areas of focus in the EU Liaison programme were the development of two key documents:
- "How to Proceed on ATM RTD&D and Implementation Programmes"
- "How to Consolidate the Role of EU in Future ATM Concept (Organisational Restructuring)".
E x p l o i t a t i o n p o t e n t i a l a n d p l a n s
The results of the EU Liaison project have significant exploitation potential within the European arena, both internal to the aviation community, and external.
The first report provides guidelines for implementing future RTD&D activities and projects under the Fourth Framework Programme. At the forefront of these activities should be a strong effort in topical areas such as airspace restructuring, improved flight data processing and automation, GNSS and datalink.
The second key report has wide exploitation potential for facilitating discussions regarding the best way to implement new organisational scenarios and structures to improve the overall aviation market in Europe, and to address pressing issues such as congestion. The scenarios and case studies, including recommendations for European wide coordination and cooperation, can serve as a baseline for more than the aviation industry, since successful cooperation and institutional change implementation are dependent on similar circumstances (e.g., common understanding of the problem, common vision and goals for the future, and single point of contact for executive decision formulation).
A succinct summary of the project's recommendations is found in the last section of its two key reports and address the following issues which continue to plague Europe:
- the effective planning and implementation of RTD&D projects which will most benefit Europe as a whole and how best to transition these projects into implementation
- the implementation of new organisational structures for European aviation as a key necessity to solve European problems with congestion, industrial competitiveness, and to ensure the effective use of scarce RTD&D funding.
The recommendations are that:
- Additional work in the area of overall RTD&D analysis and planning should be implemented with a major focus being applied to the co-operative development of success and/or milestone criteria which would assist in the decision-making process to continue RTD&D, and when or how best to transition the RTD&D into implementation
- Further development of detailed steps should be taken in the implementation of organisational change and how best to formulate new arrangements (at a detailed level) needed within Europe. Continued focus and support activity to the Commission in this area is necessary to ensure the best solutions are implemented for Europe, and such change occurs quickly in order to address the pressing problems in European aviation.
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