ESMAB Meeting Focussed on Civil & Military Collaboration in Single European Sky
(Source: European Defence Agency; issued July 02, 2019)
BRUSSELS --- The EDA SES Military Aviation Board (ESMAB) today held its 7th meeting at policy level. The meeting, which took place at the EUROCONTROL premises, was chaired by EDA Chief Executive Jorge Domecq.

The meeting was attended by the European Commission’s Director General for Mobility and Transport, Henrik Hololei, the Chairman of the EU Military Committee (EUMC), General Claudio Graziano, the Director General of Eurocontrol, Eamonn Brennon, the Commission Director for Aviation, Filip Cornelis, as well as representatives from a wide range of key aviation stakeholders, notably the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU), the SESAR Deployment Manager (SDM), NATO, the European Organisation for Civil Aviation Equipment (EUROCAE), the Performance Review Body (PRB) and the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD). Also present were representatives from the four countries EDA has concluded Administrative Agreements with (Norway, Switzerland, Serbia, Ukraine). The ESMAB policy level is comprising Member States’ military aviation authorities or equivalent.

The meeting allowed participants to have an informal high-level exchange of views between the main civil and military actors involved in this domain, with a particular focus on the challenges and opportunities for civil and military collaboration in on Single European Sky.

One of the operational conclusions of the meeting was that the ESMAB agreed to support the document “U-Space, Drones and Military Low-Level Flights” including its annex “Operations for traffic below 500ft AGL: a Military view” and to use this document at national and EU level, as a basis to increase awareness of and support for the interests of military aviation in the framework of U-Space developments. This document will be updated as a living document on a regular basis considering other aspects enlarging the scope of the analysis.

The Board also welcomed the EDA-EASA guidelines for the accommodation of military instruments flight rules (IFR) for MALE RPAS under GAT (airspace classes A-C) outside segregated airspace and agreed to use the guidelines as a reference for the accommodation of MALE-type RPAS within the European airspace.

Regarding Higher Airspace Operations, the ESMAB agreed to Support the European Defence Agency activities to monitor the work led by EASA as regard the regulatory framework and the work led by SESAR Joint Undertaking and EUROCONTROL as regards the concept of operations for Higher Airspace.

The ESMAB management was also tasked, with the support of EDA, to further investigate the need to establish of a working group involving Member States representatives, as well as representatives of relevant civil and military organisations (NATO, ECTL, EASA, ICAO, etc.) with the objective to together address the cyber security challenges for the air domain, and to revert to the ESMAB (policy level) with a proposal.

The next policy level meeting of the ESMAB is scheduled for end of January 2020.


An EDA SES Military Aviation Board (ESMAB) was created by the European Defence Agency Steering Board on 30 September 2015. Ever since, ESMAB meets at two level : - management/expert level and executive/policy level.

Rules and regulations of the civilian world can have an important impact on the military. Consequently, EDA is now recognised as the interface between Member States, EU institutions and agencies. A prominent example is the impact the Single European Sky and its related regulations have on the military.

EDA, in its role of interface and facilitator of the coordination of military views is making the military voices heard in this important modernisation process through its successful cooperation with the European Commission, Eurocontrol, and other key EU bodies and agencies involved in SES. This is also achieved thanks to EDA participating Member States’ commitment to the ESMAB which held its first meeting in May 2016.


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