The Single European Sky (SES) initiative was launched in 2004 to reduce fragmentation of the airspace over Europe, and to improve the performance of air traffic management in terms of safety, capacity, cost-efficiency and the environment.
The European Defence Agency (EDA), according to various Steering Board Mandates and EU Regulations, facilitates the coordination of military views to be brought forward in SES-related activities (SES) and acts as an interface between the military and EU institutions and related bodies. For this purpose and following EDA’s Steering Board decision, the EDA SES Military Aviation Board (ESMAB) was created in order to ensure that military aviation will continue to enable and further improve, effective European security and defence in Europe in the changing context of the civil aviation sector.
Objectives of EDA’s role in Single European Sky
- to improve early awareness of pMS regarding SES challenges and opportunities to support pMS in mitigating any adverse impact of SES initiative and SESAR on military activities for operations and training;
- to support pMS in identifying and implementing a process that will contribute to a better military involvement in SES regulations from the outset;
- To facilitate the implementation of the coordination among the military stakeholders to address potential impacts of the application of regulation pertaining to SES on operations and training;
- to support pMS in further developing their military defence capabilities in accordance with the EU Capability Development Priorities and the related strategic Context Case “Integration of military air capabilities in a changing aviation sector’’
- to facilitate pMS and industry to share views in order to develop possible future collaborative projects and to support pMS in obtaining EU co-funding for collaborative military aviation projects;
- to facilitate the development of synergies with other EU wider policies and programs and ensure coordination with other entities and stakeholders, including the European Commission, EASA, SESAR JU, SESAR Deployment Manager, INEA and multinational organisations such as NATO and EUROCONTROL.
EDA SES Miliary Aviation Board (ESMAB)
The ESMAB was created according to the Modalities for Single European Sky and approved by the EDA Steering Board on 30 September 2015. It is a response to the need for proactive coordination with States and EU and international organisations in order to mitigate any adverse impact, potentially emerging from the SES initiative on national and collective defence capabilities and to profit from opportunities and possible benefits for the military.
The ESMAB meets at two different levels :
- The ESMAB Policy level convenes at least once per year to steer and monitor EDA activities across all areas of SES. These meetings ensure the necessary engagement at the appropriate decision-making level on national level, provide needed guidance and define long-term vision and strategic foresight.
- The ESMAB Management/Expert level convenes as required, potentially at short notice and pursues the objective of refining and finalising common military positions. In addition, related supporting documentation and deliverables are elaborated and the daily monitoring of the consultation process across all areas of SES is conducted.
SES Experts Communities
Within the context of the Single European Sky and in support of EDA’s role as Military Facilitator, various expert communities in all areas of interest to the military community have been established. In addition to representatives from the relevant international agencies and organisations, the individual members of these SES Expert Communities are selected by the respective State on basis of their competencies and expertise in given areas. These communities of experts cover all SES-related matters, for example RPAS Air Traffic Insertion (RPAS ATI) and Performance-based Navigation (PBN).
- Air Traffic Management – Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (ATM CNS). The military requirements must be considered within the civil aviation rule-making activities at Single European Sky strategic and management level, in particular on important topics such as the evolution of SES. At technical level, appropriate military involvement in working groups related to the new EASA rule-making procedure must be coordinated amongst military.
- SES ATM Research (SESAR). Military requirements must be considered within the SESAR Project, from Definition to Research until Deployment. In that regard, military stakeholders need to be appropriately engaged with SESAR Joint Undertaking and SESAR Deployment Manager. Links to EDA’s CapTechs and projects are continuously assessed.
- Sec UAS Integration. The military requirements need to be integrated into the development of a dual use RPAS ATI roadmap, specifically to facilitate the insertion of certified RPAS in non-segregated European airspace. In addition, military requirements need to be integrated in the ongoing works with regards to the implementation of the U-Space. For more information on this topic, please consult EDA’s work in the field of RPAS.
- Aviation Cyber. Against the background of increasing digitalisation of the aviation system, the rationalisation of CNS infrastructure, and the convergence of civil and military systems related to information sharing, an adequate level of Cyber Resilience is crucial. Adding to these developments and thus to the involved cyber risks, civil and military aviation must consider so-called new entrants, like UAS and High Airspace Operations (HAO), and effectively address emerging and disruptive enablers and technologies like Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. To achieve an acceptable level of risk and the needed cyber resilience whilst still maintaining operational readiness, civil – military interoperability and safe and efficient access to airspace, increasing effort and effective engagement in the relevant forums is essential to ensure a collaborative and systemic approach to aviation cyber security. The activities involved are manifold and include, but are not limited to, Research & Technology, rulemaking, standardisation and multi - domain collaboration in anticipation of the growing relevance of Multi-Domain operations in a congested and contested electromagentic spectrum. EDA's ambition is to support participating Member States in their efforts of achieving an acceptable level of cyber risk, preservation of confidentiality of critical information, and improving cyber resilience.
The Military Aviation Strategy (MAS) and the Military Aviation Action Plan (MAAP)
To promote reinforced awareness about the need to pursue a coordinated civil-military approach in Single European Sky, the ESMAB has adopted a Military Aviation Strategy which reflects a common military position on military aviation as an integral part of the air traffic in Europe. The “Military Aviation Strategy in the context of SES” (MAS), its implementation plan (MASIP) and the “Military Aviation Action Plan” (MAAP) constitute a complete set of documents aiming at guiding EDA SES-related work for the coming years, notably in the field of research, development of standards and industry engagement. Their development was facilitated by EDA, in close coordination with Member States. The MAAP is a living document, to be updated every year, to ensure and manage the effective implementation of the MAS according to its implementation plan and to monitor the progress of activities.