|Updated: 14-May-2003||May 2003|
NATO formalises cooperation with EUROCONTROL
On 8 May 2003 NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson visited the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL) to sign an agreement on cooperation between the two organisations.
The agreement formalises and builds on existing ties between NATO and EUROCONTROL in the area of civil and military air traffic management.
Cooperation between the two organisations has stepped up over the years owing to the very sharp growth in civil air traffic and the need to take account of military requirements – and particularly those of NATO's strategic commands – in new civil projects.
The most prominent example was the Kosovo crisis in 1999, when NATO member forces flew over 30,000 sorties in six weeks. The placement of personnel from NATO nations within EUROCONTROL’s Central Flow Management Unit made it possible both to prevent flight safety incidents and to minimize the hindrance to commercial air traffic.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Lord Robertson said that the fight against terrorism and the creation a single European airspace are two areas for future cooperation.
“Terrorism is a scourge we must strive to eradicate and against
which we must protect ourselves at all costs,” he said, “NATO
is working intensely towards that end in many fields, and particularly
those of air defence and air traffic management.”