As from today, air traffic controllers at EUROCONTROL’s Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC) will be providing integrated civil and military air navigation services in the Hannover Upper Information Region (UIR) – the upper airspace (above 24,500 feet) of the north-west of Germany.
The overarching objectives of the integration are to improve the air traffic management system for the benefit of both civil and military airspace users and to achieve economies of scale for all parties involved. Airspace being a finite resource, an integrated civil-military system will also generate positive effects for the European network.
According to Gerd Hoofe, State Secretary for Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany: “The civil-military integration of air navigation services has been a well-known feature of operations in the Federal Republic of Germany for more than 20 years. The integration of operational air traffic in the Hannover Upper Area Information Region continues the tradition of jointly managed air navigation services within Germany. Now the last portion of German airspace has been incorporated into this undertaking. I am convinced that this project will achieve substantial efficiency gains not only for German military aviation and operational air traffic in general, but also for civil aviation across Europe. The joint work of all the participants involved has made this outstanding achievement possible and the project can be regarded as an excellent example of civil-military cooperation in Europe.”
The Director General of Civil Aviation in the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Gerold Reichle added that the implementation of this step concludes the successful civil-military integration project in the entire German airspace.
“On the basis of a mandate received by EUROCONTROL’s 41 Member States, EUROCONTROL is happy to also provide military air traffic control services in an integrated manner. This strategic alliance between civil and military air traffic control is a long-term partnership which will secure mutual benefits by sharing scarce resources and enhancing service quality. The next significant step for MUAC will be to achieve civil and military integration in the upper airspace of the Amsterdam FIR in the first half of 2017. This is in line with the principles set out in the National Airspace Vision of the Netherlands and is another major step towards full civil and military integration in MUAC airspace,” said Frank Brenner, Director General of EUROCONTROL.
As explained by Jac Jansen, Director of MUAC: “Operational air traffic services in the Hannover UIR have since 1975 been provided from Maastricht by employees of the German Armed Forces, who in 1993 were integrated into a local Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS) unit based at MUAC’s premises. Following the terms of the Agreement relating to the provision by EUROCONTROL of Air Traffic Services to Operational Air Traffic in the Hannover UIR, signed in 2016 by the Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany and EUROCONTOL, the 48 former DFS employees have now become an integral part of our staff complement and we extend a warm welcome to them. The cost of military service provision in the Hannover UIR will be borne entirely by the German Ministry of Defence. Owing to greater synergies with civilian air traffic control, these costs will be lower than previously, and will further decrease over time as the staff complement nears its target complement of 31 staff in the coming years.”