Cyprus signs agreement with Eurocontrol
Nicosia, Oct 13 -- Cyprus' safety performance in air traffic control is satisfactory and in some cases well above the European average, according to Director General of Eurocontrol Victor Aguado.
He was speaking after signing, together with Cyprus Communications and Works Minister Haris Thrasou, an agreement under which Eurocontrol will provide support to the island's Civil Aviation Department.
Mr. Aguado said the agreement is a ''further manifestation of the excellent collaboration between Cyprus and Eurocontrol while Mr. Thrasou said it was a “confirmation of the excellent relation between Eurocontrol which dates back to 1991 when Cyprus became a member of the organisation”.
Mr. Thrasou said he was certain that with Eurocontrol's support, the Civil Aviation Department ''will be in a position to fulfill its multiple international obligations, making Cyprus capable of playing a decisive role in the wider Eastern Mediterranean region'' and making use of its geographic position and relations with neighbouring countries.
"Our main concern", added Mr. Thrasou, "is to reorganise our air traffic management system through the full implementation of the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO's) provisions, EU regulations for the creation of a Single European Sky as well as satisfying the demands of the Eurocontrol Safety Regulatory Requirements (ESARRs)."
On his part, Mr. Aguado said the agreement provides Eurocontrol support to Cyprus in several domains. Firstly, Cyprus will be assisted to implement fully the Eurocontrol air traffic control safety standards (ESARRs), Cyprus will also be advised on the implementation of the ICAO Safety regulations relating to air traffic control and prepare the Civil Aviation Authority for the ICAO audit which will take place in the spring of 2006.
To a question how Eurocontrol can help the lack of cooperation between Cyprus and Turkey, Mr. Aguado said this was a timely opportunity. “There is a hope for evolution from a political point of view in these relations and we can address specifically the operational and technical dimension of the air transport between these two countries and to identify solutions for the good of both”.
Regarding the issue of air traffic safety, Mr. Aguado said the agreement relates specifically to safety, vis-a-vis safety rules. “All this will make the air traffic management system of Cyprus safer”, he added.