Union regulators monitoring the progress of programmes to test implementation
of new technology in former Soviet states are questioning whether the rapid
introduction of such technology is a wise move.
the Technical Assistance for CIS States (Tacis) programme the EU is funding the
€1.9 million Southern Ring phase 2 programme to demonstrate the application of
future air traffic management techniques such as automatic dependent
Tbilisi-based Tacis programme monitor Tengiz Gogelia says that the programme is
raising queries among its participants.
says: “There are some doubts concerning the sustainability of the project.
According to interviews we had with partner organisations they consider it an
interesting project but, at the same time, only realistic in a long term
Tacis monitors’ task is to check that the programme remains within its remit.
admits that a combined regional implementation of technology could produce
benefits but says that such a task could prove exceptionally difficult given
the fundamental differences between the ten countries involved in the Southern
said that there is a feeling that the Southern Ring states have existing air
traffic issues which should take priority over the implementation of advanced
stressing that the Tacis monitors simply report feedback from interested
parties, he says: “There are a lots of difficulties in this region. All these
countries are in a transition period. If you compare their technical assistance
with their current problems, they are not compatible. No doubt everybody would
like to have this technology – the question is where and when it should be
monitors report back on the programmes approximately every four months. The
most recent report was issued at the beginning of this year.
Southern Ring phase 2 project director Sture Ericsson says: “I don’t think they
[Tacis monitors] really understand what this is all about because they have so
much to oversee. It seems we’re having to fight them now.”
Southern Ring programme is scheduled to finish this year and the EU will have
to decide whether to continue funding the project.
says: “Maybe Tacis will concentrate on more urgent problems. Controllers here are
eager to receive training. This was the subject of the Southern Ring phase 1
programme, and they liked it very much.”
ATI acknowledges the
assistance of British Mediterranean Airways (BMA) in visiting the Southern Ring
states. BMA serves Baku, Bishkek, Tbilisi and Yerevan from London.