Netherlands Airspace Vision achieves civil-military integration in Dutch upper airspace

Air traffic controllers at Eurocontrol’s Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC) are now providing air traffic control services to both civil and military customers in the Netherlands airspace above 24,500 feet or 7.5 km.

An integrated civil-military air traffic management contributes to substantial efficiency gains – both operational and financial – for military as well as civil air traffic and provides positive effects for the European Network. This strategic alliance between civil and military air traffic control is clearly highlighted in the Airspace Vision of the Netherlands and follows up on the mandate received from Eurocontrol’s 41 member states in December 2015.

Lieutenant-General Dennis Luyt, Commander of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, said: “This arrangement concerning military air traffic service for the upper airspace, a tangible result of the National Airspace Vision, is a significant step for civil/military cooperation in the Netherlands. The arrangement ensures the continuity of operations as well as access to upper airspace for the military. In this way, our military mission effectiveness will remain at least at the same level as is currently the case. At the same time, the arrangement significantly contributes to the overall efficiency of the upper airspace, benefiting civil operators. We have confidence in a good partnership with Eurocontrol MUAC regarding air traffic services for operational air traffic in Dutch airspace.

“The handover to MUAC of service provision to operational air traffic in the Netherlands upper airspace marks an important step in civil-military cooperation in air traffic management in the Netherlands. Strengthening this cooperation is a major element of the Airspace Vision for the Netherlands, published in 2013. In the next phase, the military controllers in the lower airspace will move to co-locate at ATC the Netherlands at Schiphol at the end of this year. I am very grateful to everybody involved for making this happen and hence making the Airspace Vision and civil-military cooperation in the Netherlands become a reality” added Paul van Gurp, head of the Air Traffic Management Unit at the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment.

Frank Brenner, director general of Eurocontrol, concluded: “After the integration of civil and military air traffic service provision in German airspace last January, this new milestone makes MUAC the first cross-border civil and military air navigation service provider in Europe. This is another quantum leap towards the objectives of the Single European Sky, and we look forward to more developments towards full civil and military integration in MUAC airspace.”

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