On 04 September 2023, German Brigadier General Frank Best took over the function of EATC’s Chief of Staff. EATC is a well-known environment to General Best. From 2014 to 2018, he held the position of Deputy Head of EATC’s Operational Division. We discussed with General Best where EATC stands today.
“… the Lighthouse Project a perfect example
on how EATC can provide considerable
value for its members and partners…”
General Best, how do you perceive EATC today? How has EATC progressed since you left back in 2018?
EATC has established itself as reliable player in the aera of air mobility within its member nations and beyond. It has come a long way. Responsibilities given to EATC and the multinational procedures established - new and unorthodox at the time of introduction - are considered “normal” by now. They have proved their worth. This is highly appreciable on one side but also constitutes a challenge for the future. We need to keep the momentum. We are not there yet.
Also, we need to evolve further in order to incorporate the capabilities provided by a growing fleet of new and more capable aircraft and how we employ these assets in light of the changed security environment. I belief a multinational standardisation, a common demanding training and a robust C2 structures are a prerequisite to meet that challenge and EATC has a key role here.
What are your views on how to develop one of EATC’s main current challenges: the Lighthouse Project?
I consider the Lighthouse Project a perfect example on how EATC can provide considerable value for its members and partners. Day to day operational business is one part of the coin. However, the functional division provides the tools to make the multinational approach possible and valuable like in the Lighthouse Project.
Cross-maintenance and CATO* operations are one of the corner stones for a multinational approach boosting our fleet’s efficiencies. The Lighthouse Project has underlined two things: First of all, it can be done and secondly, it provides considerable flexibilities and operational gains.
* Combined Air Terminal Operations
What is EATC to you in one sentence?
An excellent example of a multinational approach to achieve more by working together.