Eurocontrol will set up voluntary solidarity funds dedicated to providing financial support for the agency’s member states affected by an air traffic crisis.
The decision was made in response to the major impact of Russia’s aggression on Ukraine on air traffic across Europe.
A total of 41 member states of Eurocontrol have entrusted the organization to establish and manage two funds, which will be used to cover air traffic control staff training and other related costs which are crucial “to ensure operational readiness and continuity when air traffic recovers.”
According to the Eurocontrol statement released on November 24, 2022, the agency will create a €46.5 million fund of donation to both Ukraine and Moldova as well as a separate fund in the form of a €46.1 million loan to four European countries, including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland.
“We are all aware of the major impact Putin’s war of aggression on Ukraine has had on air traffic across the European continent. Eurocontrol stands in solidarity with Ukraine and the other states whose air traffic control services have been so severely impacted,” the organization’s director general Eamonn Brennan was cited in the statement as saying.
“This decision allows us together to take collective action to provide support and funding to ensure the longer-term viability of air traffic control in any State that is impacted in such a way now and in the future. […] Showing solidarity towards Ukraine, which is facing brutal aggression, is the very least Eurocontrol members can do, and I am sure we will show solidarity until the war is over with Ukrainian success and we embark in re-innovating and re-building Ukraine,” Brennan added.
The Ukrainian airspace has been closed since Russia invaded the country on February 24, 2022, leading to a loss of staff and income from route charges.