NewPENS contract signed in Brussels

EUROCONTROL (the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation), alongside more than 40 industry partners – primarily air navigation service providers (ANSPs) – have unveiled a new 10-year contract with British Telecommunications (BT) for the provision and management of secure and resilient New Pan-European Network Services (NewPENS).

The contract, which has an estimated value of €50 million, was signed in Brussels, following a common procurement action, on 17 April 2018.

Connecting around 100 locations across 47 countries in and around the EUROCONTROL area, the network will be accessible to all air traffic management (ATM) stakeholders, so they can transfer business-critical data  securely and in a cost-efficient way.

The successor to PENS, which was launched in December 2009, NewPENS is a major upgrade – in service management and network architecture – and the backbone for cross-border data and voice communications for the Network Manager, ANSPs and other ATM stakeholders.

“NewPENS is an unparalleled common procurement contract in pan-European air traffic management,” stated Eamonn Brennan, director general of EUROCONTROL and vice-chairman NewPENS Top Management Board.

“With air traffic on the rise, NewPENS will provide solid support to European aviation, securing cross-border network connections and underpinning safety-critical applications,” he added.

In addition to being future-proof, NewPENS’s features include being available to a wider range of stakeholders, including the military, ATM providers, airlines, airports and meteorological services as well as ANSPs, and the option of different tiers of service – from entry-level to mid-level, through to high-end.

Bas Burger, BT’s CEO of global services, noted that “with air traffic expected to double in the years ahead, the need for secure and highly reliable communications has never been greater and of more importance.”

He added: “The networking infrastructure we will put in place for the NewPENS community will ensure ultra-high levels of resilience and security for air traffic controllers to help guide planes safely to their destinations.”

Header image: Network Manager Operations Centre; Inset image: Signing of the NewPENS contract on 17 April 2018

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