ENAIRE and Spain's Air Force have held the first workshop on "Civil-Military Coordination to Implement the Flexible Use of Airspace" at the European level in Madrid. This gathering is a national initiative promoted by ENAIRE's Civil-Military Coordination Department, in cooperation with the DGAC, Spain's National Aviation Safety Agency (AESA) and the Spanish Air Force. It is also endorsed by EUROCONTROL, the pan-European civil-military organisation that supports aviation in Europe.

The event, which is taking place at the Air Force headquarters, features significant international participation, with civil and military representatives from Spain, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and Romania presenting their best practices to further the flexible use of airspace.

The FUA concept relies on adjusting airspace usage to the current needs in order to minimise the amount of airspace that is segregated and which forces aircraft to circle around it. Its main goal is to optimise the use of airspace by constantly and dynamically adapting it to the needs of civil and military aviation in a way that minimises aircraft fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Consequently, any segregation of airspace for military use is intended to be temporary, meaning it is released for civil use once the activity that required it is complete. Given the complexity of air traffic control, the variety of airspace users and the need to guarantee the safety of aircraft at all times, the coordination efforts must be joint, dynamic, constant and be done far enough in advance to leverage the advantages offered by the flexible use of airspace.

Throughout the sessions, the testimonies shared will let participants learn about the structures and mechanisms of civil-military coordination, as well as the current status of the implementation of the flexible use of airspace, and identify potential areas of improvement. The experiences other countries have had implementing this concept will also be discussed.

"We are in a real process of transforming airspace that we - authorities, regulators, service providers and users - have to undertake together. ENAIRE is fully aware of and committed to this process. This transformation goes beyond the traditional idea we have about how to manage airspace. Our goal is to use airspace in the best way possible for civil and military needs in the safest, most flexible and optimal way. And now, we also have to consider new demanding drone activities, as well as space operations", said Ángel Luis Arias, ENAIRE's CEO, at the opening.

In the opinion of the workshop's organiser, the Director of Civil-Military Coordination at ENAIRE, Air Force Major General Manuel Gimeno, in order to further the flexible use of airspace, it is essential that all organisations continue to work together and learn about one another in an effort to advance and transform. This workshop will identify specific tools and possibilities for improvement.

Speaking at Monday's session were Major General Karsten Stoye, head of civil-military coordination and military adviser to the Managing Director of Eurocontrol; Razvan Bucuroiu, head of Network Strategy and Development; Giuseppe Acampora, head of the Project Coordination and Implementation Unit; participating from the United Kingdom were: Simon Bennett, specialist in airspace management, and Lt Col Kev McMorrow, from the Airspace Management Cell; France was represented by Colonel Christophe Hindermann, Deputy Director of Airspace of the Military Air Traffic Directorate (DSAÉ) and Lieutenant Colonel Nicolas Meu.

This first workshop on "Civil-Military Coordination to Implement the Flexible Use of Airspace" at the European level will concluded with a round table to study the initiatives proposed.