US and EU Expand Cooperation on ATC Modernization and Pilot Training


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The US and the European Union (EU) are amending two joint agreements expanding cooperation on aviation safety and air traffic management (ATC) modernization.

Officials from FAA, the EU and the European Commission co-signed the amendments in Brussels Dec. 13.

The amendment to the US-EU Safety Agreement, which originally took effect May 1, 2011, enables the FAA and the EU to move forward with reciprocal acceptance of flight simulator training devices and pilot licensing approvals.

A go-ahead for future collaboration in aircraft operations and air traffic safety oversight is also part of the new amendment. FAA cited the agreement’s intention to avoid duplication, leverage resources, streamline procedures and reduce costs.

The second amendment addressed expanding US-EU collaboration in ATC modernization, which FAA said will now cover the full cycle of ATC modernization activities from development to deployment, including harmonizing air traffic technologies, standards and procedures between FAA’s NextGen and EU’s SESAR ATC modernization programs.

“Our collaboration remains vitally important for the safe and efficient movement of passengers and cargo on both sides of the Atlantic,” FAA administrator Michael Huerta said at the signing.

“The broadened scope of the two agreements we signed today confirms the strong commitment to continue to work together for the future of aviation safety,” European Commission DG MOVE director Henrik Hololei said. Estonia’s permanent representative to the EU, Ambassador Kaja Tael, was the third signatory to the amendments.