U.S., EU agree to extend aviation collaboration

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Union (EU) agreed last week to expand and extend their collaboration as they progress toward offering seamless air traffic services for aircraft traveling between the U.S. and the EU.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and Joao Aguiar Machado, the European Commission's director general for Mobility and Transport, signed a Letter of Intent on air traffic management modernization last week in Paris.

“I’m extremely proud of our partnership with the European Union,” Huerta said. “Today’s signing validates the collaborative work that began three years ago and confirms our commitment to enhance our relationship even further.”

The new agreement is aimed at ensuring that passengers will enjoy safer, on-time flying between the U.S. and EU thanks to the NextGen air traffic management (ATM) system and its European counterpart, the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR). 

"Modernizing air traffic management is vital for the future of European aviation," Violeta Bulc, EU transport commissioner, said. "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. We share these objectives with the U.S. We are already doing a great job with the FAA by cooperating on SESAR and NextGen. Now that we are both heading toward deploying new systems, I fully support the idea that we should explore the possibility to extend this excellent cooperation to all phases of ATM modernization. That's the change in culture that will take global ATM systems into the future and will help cope with the expected traffic increase."

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