Funding is Framing the Future of Airports

EU funding is allowing European airports to improve, modernise and develop their Air Traffic Management infrastructure.

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) allows airports to generate financial support for projects that have a genuine opportunity to support and resolve any current missing links or ‘holes’ in the current structure. It has become a key funding from the EU which will advance infrastructure, making travel easier, more sustainable, and will promote growth and jobs across airports.

An example of a project that has been completed is the “Enablers for Airport Surface Movement related to Safety Net”. There was a total of 15 European Airports involved in the application, one being London Stansted Airport. MAG has the vision to attract a wider range of airlines and new routes to Stansted Airport, so improvement on their current runway and procedures is necessary to grow sustainably.

The project mentioned above will allow the airport to have vehicle transponders within the airside environment, improving situational awareness, reducing the risk of runway accidents and advancing the overall safety. This will significantly improve ground operational control and support the airport’s overall plan of growth and efficiency.

As airports grow and increase the number of flight destinations and airlines operating, the ground operational control needs to be extremely well organised and risk needs to be if possible, eliminated. Passenger numbers seem to be increasing worldwide and with so many airports in the throes of development proposals, the CEF funding offers an excellent opportunity to ensure all current procedures are as slick and efficient as possible.

There is a proposal currently being reviewed by the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) for Initial Airport Operations Plan (iAOP). A joint application has been submitted by 13 airport operators with Brussels Airport as lead partner, to improve process optimisation at airport level through real-time information sharing. This result is expected to be announced in September but is a great demonstration of how airports of all sizes can really benefit from this funding.

The CEF is an excellent prospect for airports across Europe. The scheme is delivering opportunities for performance development, enhanced procedures, and advanced technologies. All of this will improve the overall running and managing of an airport, allowing long-term growth to occur sustainably and effectively.

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