Civil-military coordination in the management of airspace for Spain

ENAIRE and the Spanish Air Force organized the first workshop on “Civil-Military Coordination to Implement Flexible Use of Airspace” at European level in Madrid. This gathering is a national initiative promoted by the Civil-Military Coordination Department of ENAIRE, in cooperation with the DGAC, the Spanish National Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Spanish Air Force. It is also approved by EUROCONTROL, the pan-European civil-military organization that supports aviation in Europe.

The event, held at Air Force Headquarters, features significant international attendance, with civilian and military representatives from Spain, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and Romania presenting their best practices to promote the flexible use of airspace.

The FUA concept relies on adjusting the use of airspace to current needs to minimize the amount of airspace that is segregated and requires aircraft to circle around it. Its main objective is to optimize the use of airspace by constantly and dynamically adapting it to the needs of civil and military aviation so as to minimize aircraft fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Therefore, any segregation of airspace for military use is meant to be temporary, i.e. it is released for civilian use once the activity that required it is completed. Given the complexity of air traffic control, the variety of airspace users and the need to guarantee the safety of aircraft at all times, coordination efforts must be joint, dynamic, constant and carried out sufficiently upstream to take advantage of the advantages offered by the flexible use of airspace.

Throughout the sessions, shared testimonies will allow participants to learn about civil-military coordination structures and mechanisms, as well as the current status of the implementation of flexible use of airspace, and identify potential areas for improvement. The experiences of other countries in implementing this concept will also be discussed.

“We are in a real airspace transformation process that we – authorities, regulators, service providers and users – must undertake together. ENAIRE is fully aware and committed to this process. This transformation goes beyond the our traditional idea of ​​how to manage airspace, our goal is to make the best use of airspace for civil and military needs in the safest, most flexible and optimal way. now we also have to consider new demanding drone activities, as well as space operations,” said Ángel Luis Arias, CEO of ENAIRE, during the opening.

In the opinion of the organizer of the workshop, the director of civil-military coordination of ENAIRE, the division general of the air force Manuel Gimeno, in order to favor the flexible use of the airspace, it is essential that all organizations continue to work together and learn from each other in an effort to move forward and transform. This workshop will identify specific tools and opportunities for improvement.

During Monday’s session, Major General Karsten Stoye, Chief of Civil-Military Coordination and Military Advisor to the Director General of Eurocontrol, addressed the session; Razvan Bucuroiu, Head of Strategy and Network Development; Giuseppe Acampora, head of the project coordination and implementation unit; Participants from the UK were: Simon Bennett, Airspace Management Specialist, and Lt. Col. Kev McMorrow, Airspace Management Cell; France was represented by Colonel Christophe Hindermann, Deputy Director of Airspace of the Military Air Traffic Directorate (DSAÉ) and Lieutenant-Colonel Nicolas Meu.

This first workshop on “Civil-military coordination to implement the flexible use of airspace” at European level will conclude with a round table to study the proposed initiatives.

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