The European and international organisations related to air navigation.

Airports Council International
The Airports Council International (ACI) has 573 members operating 1751 airports in 174 countries and territories, representing over 95 percent of global airport traffic. This association is headquartered in Geneva and was created in 1970. Its missions include:


  • World-wide development of common airport policy for all member airports and its presentation before the most important global organisations.
  • Promotion of information exchange on technical, financial, commercial, marketing or environmental matters.

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Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation

Aena is a founding member of the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), to which 76 air navigation service providers belong. This association is headquartered in Geneva and was created in 1996.

The primary objective of CANSO is the defence of aeronautical service providers, in accordance with the principles of safety, efficiency and effectiveness, as well as support to sector industry.

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European Civil Aviation Conference

The European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) was founded in 1955 as an initiative of the European Council, with the active support of the ICAO's Secretariat. This intergovernmental organisation, with headquarters in Paris, is made up of 44 European states. Spain has been a member since its creation.

Its objectives are:

  • Support for orderly and safe development of civil aviation in Europe.
  • Standardisation of air transport policies on economic and technical matters.
  • Adoption of common measures for airspace control.

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European Space Agency

The primary objective of the European Space Agency (ESA), created in 1975 and with Spain as a founding member, is to promote space collaboration among its member states for exclusively pacific purposes. Its activities centre on the development of scientific missions and the practical use of space, from meteorology to telecommunications, as well as in the field of observation.

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Eurocontrol (European Organisation for Air Navigation Security), created in 1960, is the most important European organisation for air navigation. It is made up of 39 member states and is headquartered in Brussels (Belgium). In 1997, Spain became a full member.

Eurocontrol's objectives include:

  • Co-ordination and regulation of European airspace.
  • Common exploitation of air traffic control services.
  • Perception of tariffs for air navigation assistance.
  • Training of personnel and development of programmes, such as EATCHIP (for the integration of air traffic control systems) or CFMU (programme that centralises flow control activities).

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International Air Transport Association

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), created in 1945, is the main international group in the defence of airline interests. It is made up of 240 airlines and its objectives include:

  • The promotion of air transport and commerce.
  • Support for co-operation between companies in the sector and the analysis of associated problems.
  • Collaboration with the ICAO and other international organisations.

It also prepares reports and traffic forecasts, as well as the so-called IATA manuals.

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Joint Aviation Authorities

The JAA (Joint Aviation Authorities) is the most recently created European organisation. It is associated with the ECAC and its primary objectives include:

  • Establishing technical requirements that facilitate common approval of aeronautical material by its members.
  • Declaring common air navigation codes and standards related to personal licences.

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International Civil Aviation Organisation

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is the United Nations organisation specialised in civil aviation. It was created in 1944, upon the signing of the Chicago Convention. Its headquarters are in Montreal (Canada). There are 191 member states.

The ICAO establishes the necessary principles, rules and international agreements to guarantee the safety, efficiency and regularity of air transport. Spain has been a member of the organisation since 1951 and, uninterruptedly, of the Council, which acts as the executive body.

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European Union

Founded in 1957 by the Treaty of Rome, the European Union (EU) is currently made up of 27 member states. Spain joined the EU, whose headquarters are in Brussels, in 1986. The most important EU activities in which Aena participates are the Galileo and EGNOS programmes.

Its objectives in relation to air navigation include:

  • Freedom of access to the aeronautical market and tariffs.
  • Implementation of the trans-European transport networks and their safety policies.
  • Support for research and development.

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