FAA and EU agree to extend NextGen partnership

18 June 2015 (Last Updated June 18th, 2015 18:30)

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Union (EU) have announced plans to extend their NextGen agreement that seeks to enhance air traffic services between the US and Europe.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Union (EU) have announced plans to extend their NextGen agreement that seeks to enhance air traffic services between the US and Europe.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and the EC Mobility and Transport director general Joao Aguiar Machado signed a letter of intent on air traffic management (ATM) modernisation, at a ceremony in France.

Huerta said: "Today's signing validates the collaborative work that began three years ago and confirms our commitment to enhance our relationship even further."

"Modernising air traffic management is vital for the future of European aviation."

The extension and expansion of the current agreement is expected to help provide safer, on-time flying over the Atlantic.

EU transport commissioner Violeta Bulc said: "Modernising air traffic management is vital for the future of European aviation.

"We need to invest in innovation in order to improve ATM performances.

"This means cheaper flights, increased safety, a lower impact on the environment, and better capacity to manage traffic."

In particular, the two sides would expand on the current memorandum of cooperation, which was originally signed in March 2011, to increase collaboration on the deployment and implementation of NextGen activities.

Europe is already working with the FAA on the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR), a project focused on modernising the European airspace and its ATM.

As part of the understanding, various ongoing aviation-related researches such as the interoperability of avionics, communication protocols and procedures along with operational methods under NextGen and SESAR will also be extended.