EATC has developed into a centre of expertise for air mobility. Let’s investigate with Colonel Patrick Mollet, Head of Policy and Support Division, how EATC is preparing the path to new engaging prospects in cooperation with the member nations and partners.
Colonel Mollet, the policy and legal branch is a think tank for an innovative air mobility future. Can you briefly outline what today’s cutting-edge fields are?
We celebrated our tenth anniversary last September. As for many organisations, such a milestone is a moment to reflect on the past and to shape the future. Since the creation of the EATC we offer our nations a multinational tool for air mobility.
The first five years focussed on building the essential interoperability foundations to allow efficient day-to-day air transport, AAR and aeromedical mission planning and execution. Next came the integration of Spain and Italy with the task to bring all seven partners to the same level of daily interoperability.
After ten years we are convinced we do well, but that we can do more, especially in the domain of support to our nations in crisis situations. Another field is the optimum integration of multinational units in the EATC processes. The new BELUX A400M unit, the new Multinational MRTT Unit and the future FRA/DEU C-130J unit present new challenges at first, but eventually offer efficiencies beyond pure national fleets. The EATC should become a first enabler for those efficiencies.
How are you cooperating with the member nations or other partners on these projects?
It should be no surprise that COVID-19 and the associated restrictions (travel, physical meetings) is hampering cooperation on these topics with our partners. Nevertheless, as many organisations, we have become proficient in using the different VTC solutions to remain in daily contact with the member nations and other partners.
Our endeavour to investigate how we can better support our nations in crisis situations is well received by our board of directors (the MATraC, with the different Air Chiefs and Luxembourg Vice CHOD as members), who officialised this in a common declaration. This is a serious boost to our work and hopefully opens many doors in the nations and partner organisations. The first aim is to develop a common policy on the matter whilst respecting the national sovereignty.
EATC undergoes a major IT development. Can you briefly depict this important project?
This project is another offspring of the reflections an organisation makes after ten years of existence. Our goal for IT developments is to make them future proof. In the light of the previous questions that means having access to more performant IT tools independently of location, sustainable in support and personnel cost. The backbone will be an EATC network and the operational tool MEAT New Generation, supported by the host nation and other contracts.