Contact: Kyla Evans
Bucharest, Romania, March 11, 2008 — EUROCONTROL and the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) have announced a new partnership to reinforce aviation safety in Europe and globally.
The partnership aims at strengthening cooperation between the two organizations in order to reduce aviation safety risk. Three key issues stand out in the joint work: mitigating the risk posed by the combination of growth in traffic and shortage of air traffic controllers and pilots; the need to create a ‘Just Culture” in aviation; and the promotion of SKYbary, an online repository for safety-related information.
Speaking at the opening of the European Aviation Safety Seminar in Bucharest, Erik Merckx, EUROCONTROL Deputy Director of Programmes said: “EUROCONTROL and the FSF have been courting for quite a number of years already. Combining our scarce resources, efforts, sharing best practices, coming out of our silos is the start of what I believe will be a successful marriage that will contribute to saving many more lives in aviation.”
Under the terms of the agreement to be signed between the two organisations, the EUROCONTROL Agency will serve as Fellow for Aviation Safety in Europe, responsible for coordinating the promotion and implementation of the FSF safety initiatives and products on the continent. On its side, the FSF will promote EUROCONTROL safety initiatives and products globally. A particular emphasis will be given to supporting the development of a Just Culture and transparency in safety-related issues.
“This partnership is a great opportunity for the Flight Safety Foundation and I’m very pleased we’ve been able to formalize the relationship,” noted FSF CEO and President, William R. Voss. “While we’ve always had a global focus, this relationship with EUROCONTROL will allow us to work together in a new way that will lead to even more improvements in aviation safety in Europe and worldwide.”
Europe currently has over 10 million flights a year, with peaks of over 4,000 flights an hour. With the number of flights growing by on average 5% a year, there is strong pressure on Europe’s 15,000 air traffic controllers to keep delays down. However Europe already has around 10% fewer controllers than is necessary, and their average age is increasing rapidly. In addition, the SESAR project, which aims to address the capacity gap through new technologies and automation requires controllers for validation. As a result, the shortage of controllers could reach 20% in the coming years.
Flight Safety Foundation is an independent, non-profit, international organization engaged in research, auditing, education, advocacy and publishing to improve aviation safety. The Foundation’s mission is to pursue the continuous improvement of global aviation safety and the prevention of accidents. www.flightsafety.org
EUROCONTROL, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, has as its primary objective to develop a seamless, pan-European air traffic management (ATM) system that fully copes with the growth in air traffic, while maintaining a high level of safety, reducing costs and respecting the environment.
EUROCONTROL has 38 Member States: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. On 8 October 2002, the Member States and the European Community signed a Protocol on the Accession of the European Community to the revised EUROCONTROL Convention. Pending its entry into force after ratification by all Parties, certain provisions of the Protocol are already being provisionally applied. www.eurocontrol.int
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