One of Eurocontrol's prime mandates is to draw up standard operating procedures (SOP) and specifications for all aspects of ATM in Eurocontrol states, because at present air traffic service providers are all nationally based with their own standards and practices. The July collision between a DHL Boeing 757F and a Bashkirian Airlines Tupolev Tu-154 was an example of the need for standardisation: it highlighted a fatal difference in the SOP for pilot response to the ACAS conflict resolution advisory (RA). If both crews had followed their RA the accident would have been avoided, but while the DHL crew had been taught that an RA takes precedence over an air traffic control instruction, the Russian crew had been taught the opposite.

Source: Flight International