AEFMP, a grouping of 6 Civil Aviation Authorities/ Air Navigation Services Providers

 

 

The basis of AEFMP

In 1990, Spain, France and Portugal created the EFP plan, with the objective of optimizing, harmonizing and integrating their Air Navigation Systems in the wake of the principles established in the EUROCONTROL EATCHIP Program. The EFP Plan was signed by Civil Aviation Authorities/ Air Navigation Services Providers of the three countries on 3rd July 1991.

In 1996, after five years of fruitful collaboration, it was decided to extend the Plan and include Algeria and Morocco. This decision was taken to optimize the main traffic flows in the area through coordination and ATS systems interoperability improvement with these two States. The AEFMP Plan was signed on 13 December 1996. However, both Plans continued to work in parallel, although in close coordination, for six years.

In 2002 the Air Navigation Systems of Algeria and Morocco attained a sufficient level of compliance with the European partners’ ones. In October 2002, the Joint AEFMP Plan was born as the result of the merging of the former EFP and AEFMP Plans.

 

The evolution of worldwide ATM context

The AEFMP, during its existence, has accommodated smoothly the regional ATM institutional environment evolutions stemming from the EATCHIP Program followed up by EATMP guidelines. Nevertheless, as a consequence of the evolution of the international framework, the Joint AEFMP Plan required an update in order to be kept aligned with the evolving policies.

On a worldwide level, the ICAO GANP was approved presenting a framework for harmonizing avionics capabilities and the required air traffic management (ATM) ground infrastructure.

The air navigation system has significantly evolved from a harmonization to a performance approach, particularly due to the International Civil Aviation Organization strategy (ICAO) through the Global Air Navigation Plan (GANP), out of the ICAO Twelfth Air Navigation Conference held in 2012.

The latest GANP edition (ICAO Doc 9750-AN/963, 5th Edition–2016) covers the 2016-2030 period. This edition presents a comprehensive planning tool, the Aviation System Block Upgrades framework (ASBU framework) for the States to upgrade their existing systems in order to support global harmonized air navigation. It also identifies the next generation of ground and aviation technologies needed to meet the desired performance improvements from the ASBU modules.

 

The evolution of European ATM context

On the European level, major evolutions have occurred in the European Union regulatory context. Several EC Regulations derived from the Single European Sky (SES) entered in application. In particular, from 2004, the SES legal framework fully applies within European Union countries.

The AEFMP, during its existence, has accommodated smoothly the regional ATM institutional environment evolutions stemming from the EATCHIP Program followed up by EATMP guidelines.

Furthermore, the introduction of SES throughout its different packages, aiming to improve the performance and sustainability of the European aviation, have brought a new framework for the cooperation between countries such as the set-up of Functional Airspaces Blocks (FABs) which had a major impact on ANSPs environment.

Regarding ATM systems evolution, the European ATM Master Plan was elaborated, so was the SESAR R&D program; the Common Projects and the Deployment Manager regulations were published, paving the way for the development and the implementation of new concepts, technical improvements and methods for the air-traffic management. Then, SESAR2020 took over from SESAR in 2017, major evolution to SESAR deployment was prepared in 2018 through Pilot Common Project revision and Common Project 2 elaboration, after the update of European ATM Master plan in order to reflect its synergies and consistencies with the Deployment Programme and the Network Strategy Plan.

In the meantime, in order to tackle the aforementioned context changes and cope with new regulations, the former Joint AEFMP Plan evolved toward to the current AEFMP Memorandum of Understanding.

In 2018, having celebrated its 15th birthday, AEFMP welcomed Tunisia as new member, thus demonstrating its dynamism, maturity and willingness to strengthen its areas of cooperation.  The AEFMP area, emphasizing such links between 6 Air Navigation Services Providers surrounding Mediterranean Sea, constitutes the very wide south-west entry door of the European airspace.

 

The AEFMP aim

Finally, considering that AEFMP members are either from European States directly impacted by the SES regulation or from non-European States, potentially affected via bilateral State agreements and since all States are equally affected by the ICAO GANP ASBU framework, AEFMP aims to support a smooth and efficient convergence of its members' capabilities among the international ATM performance frameworks and the convergence of their objectives.

Favored by the integration of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia in ICAO EUR region in 2012 and the progressive and necessary consideration of their airspaces and air traffic flows by European bodies such as Eurocontrol or EASA, the relevance of such cooperation links between the ANSPs of the AEFMP becomes more and more obvious day after day, together with the efficiency of AEFMP action.