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Today, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Pim van Ballekom and Managing Director of the SESAR Deployment Manager (SDM) Massimo Garbini signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to reinforce and expand cooperation between the two organisations.

The SDM is tasked by the European Commission with developing and implementing the technology deployment phase of the Single European Sky Initiative, meant to defragment the EU’s airspace so as to increase capacity, improve safety, lower environmental impact and reduce costs for airspace users. The MoU is intended to formalize the way in which the EIB and SDM will work together towards ensuring financial instruments are available to support the financing of the SESAR Deployment Programme.

Present at the signing, Violeta Bulc, EU Commissioner for Transport said: "SESAR is an ideal project for the EIB to support, on the one hand because it is a key element of the Union’s transport policy - on the other, because of the significant contribution it can make to European economic growth and employment. I am particularly pleased to see this cooperation being formalised today through a Memorandum of Understanding. This is a strong signal to the entire aviation community on the success of the SESAR projects. It is also as a model for cooperation between European Institutions and aviation stakeholders."

In view of the focus on Air Traffic Management (ATM) modernisation shared by the European Commission, the EIB and the SDM are working together to offer a range of financial products to the industry. This way, SESAR Deployment Manager’s stakeholders (Air Navigation Service Providers, Airports and Airlines) will have access to the most appropriate financial products to help them implement the technology changes required by the Deployment Programme.

Pim van Ballekom, EIB Vice-President, added: “We are confident that this cooperation with the SDM will benefit not only the aviation and air traffic management (ATM) sector but ultimately also passengers and the general public. The EIB will draw on the SDM’s vast knowledge of the sector and combine that with the Bank’s financial and technical expertise to offer financial solutions to the industry. Harmonization, safety and efficiency should be the watchwords for the ATM industry moving forward and the Bank will do it all it can to support these aspirations through concrete investments.”

Through the cooperation, suitable financial mechanisms and instruments are being put in place for a sustainable financing of the SESAR Deployment Programme. This should also be seen in the context of the EUR 315 billion European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) of the Investment Plan for Europe.

“Our stakeholders will benefit from the financial expertise of the European Investment Bank, which is reinforcing the overall support SESAR Deployment Manager is giving. With the support of the European Commission, the MoU reflects the pioneering role ATM modernisation gets to play in the future of European transport” said SDM’s Managing Director Massimo Garbini.