NATO-Russia Council holds Cooperative Airspace Initiative exercise

  • 13 Nov. 2012 - 14 Nov. 2012
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  • Last updated: 14 Nov. 2012 08:43

A simulated computer-based exercise to test the NATO-Russia Council’s Cooperative Airspace Initiative (CAI) Information Exchange System (IES) is taking place on 13-14 November 2012 over three CAI geographical areas of operational interest, Bodø – Murmansk, Warsaw – Kaliningrad and Ankara – Rostov-on-Don. Exercise Directors from NATO and Russian Federation positioned in the CAI coordination centres in Warsaw and Moscow are in charge of the exercise.

The exercise, called “Vigilant Skies 2012”, aims to test and consolidate CAI IES processes, procedures and capabilities. It builds on the achievements of previous CAI exercises and workshops and will help to build towards a possible live exercise in 2013 over the Black Sea area.

The CAI was launched at the first NATO-Russia Council (NRC) summit in Rome in May 2002. The purpose is to foster cooperation on airspace surveillance and air traffic coordination against terrorist attacks using civilian aircraft. This helps to enhance transparency, confidence and trust and to strengthen the capabilities required for the handling of security incidents.

The CAI IES successfully passed testing and was declared operational in December 2011 after a successful live exercise, “Vigilant Skies 2011”, conducted in June 2011.

Presently the network of CAI IES consists of four units in NATO nations and four units in the Russian Federation. The exchange of air traffic information is conducted in three pairs of Area Air Traffic Control Centres (Bodø – Murmansk, Warsaw – Kaliningrad, Ankara – Rostov-on-Don) interconnected through CAI Coordination Centres located in Warsaw and Moscow. The architecture of the CAI IES enables other NATO and Partner nations to join the programme at any stage.

The project is financed by the participating NATO nations and the Russian Federation.