Serbia and Montenegro Air Traffic Services (SMATSA) is set to receive a €35m loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) intending to improve air navigation services in both countries.
The fund will be invested to upgrade SMATSA’s air traffic control and data processing systems.
Additionally, SMATSA’s aeronautical fixed telecommunications network (AFTN) system and aeronautical message handling system (AMHS) will be updated.
The proposed upgrades are a key element of the SMATSA modernisation programme, which also includes extending the air traffic control building to increase capacity.
Furthermore, the programme will include new control towers in the airports of Belgrade and Nis, and a contingency centre in Nis.
The project is part of the Single European Sky programme run by the European Commission. The programme aims to improve aviation safety, capacity and flight efficiency.
The Single European Sky initiative includes upgrades in EU countries, as well as improvements in neighbouring countries to make cooperation between systems more reliable.
SMATSA’s modernisation programme will fall in line with the European Common Aviation Area’s harmonisation process that seeks to make air services affordable across Europe.
EBRD and SMATSA have previously cooperated in 2005 when the bank granted a €33.5m modernisation programme loan. This was used to improve services at SMATSA, as well as to ensure it complied with pen-European standards and Eurocontrol guidelines.