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European Union; United States: Memorandum on Cooperation in Civil Aviation Research and Development

(June 28, 2010) On June 18, 2010, the European Commission and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) signed a memorandum of cooperation in the areas of civil aviation research and development and on interoperability between the EU and U.S. air traffic management (ATM) modernization programs, known as SESAR and NextGen, respectively.

Signing of the memorandum, which contains commonly agreed upon reciprocity standards, will provide the two partners the opportunity to attain their mutual goals in developing green and more efficient air transport systems. It will also enable them to deal jointly with any research and development issues involving civil aviation, including the environment, aircraft performance, security, alternative fuels, satellite-based communication, aircraft design, and unmanned aircraft systems.

The Commission and the FAA also agree to identify any opportunities available to interested parties of the two sides to participate consultatively in each other's ATM modernization programs and to coordinate their technical expertise to support the global standardization of ATM systems through the assistance of the International Civil Aviation Organization. The memorandum, in its final form, will be presented to the European Parliament and the Council of the EU for endorsement so that it may enter into force in early 2011. (Press Release, IP/10/761, Commission and US Agree to Cooperate on Civil Aviation Research and Development (June 18, 2010), available at