U.S. and EU expand cooperation in air-traffic safety, air-traffic control management

BRUSSELS. Officials from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and ambassadors to the European Union (EU) plus EU transport ministers recently signed amendments to two U.S.-EU agreements that will expand joint efforts on aviation safety and air-traffic management harmonization.

According to an FAA document, the amendments are aimed at reducing duplication and leveraging resources, both of which will enable the FAA and EU to better allocate equipment and personnel to areas that have higher risks to aviation safety. FAA officials say that industry, the military, the government, and the flying public will all benefit from this expanded safety cooperation as it will streamline procedures and reduce costs.

The first amendment, that to the U.S-EU Aviation Safety Agreement, permits the FAA and the EU to finalize arrangements for reciprocal acceptance of approvals associated with flight simulator training devices and pilot licensing; the change also enables future collaboration in aircraft operations and air-traffic safety oversight. The second amendment covers collaboration in the area of air-traffic management modernization, as it aims to broaden the scope of harmonization of U.S. and EU air-traffic technologies, standards, and procedures. The expanded agreement now covers the entire life cycle of air-traffic management modernization from development to deployment.