What is the legal framework of SESAR Deployment and the SESAR Deployment Manager? What about the accession to the SDM consortium (level 2 of the SESAR deployment governance) and the process?

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The deployment takes place in the legal framework of the “SESAR Deployment Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA)”. The FPA was signed on the 5th of December 2014 by the European Commission and NATS as coordinator of the SESAR Deployment Alliance consortium, in the name and on behalf of all its members.

In the SESAR framework partnership, the SESAR Deployment Manager acts as the coordinator, the members of the SDM are the coordinating partners and the other partners, executing implementation projects, are the implementing partners. Note that the coordination partners are also implementing partners.

In particular, the SDM as coordinator shall:

Monitor that the Action plan and actions are implemented in accordance with the Framework agreement and the specific agreements;

Be the intermediary for all communications between the partners, the European Commission and the Innovation & Networks Executive Agency (INEA);

Make the appropriate arrangements for providing any financial guarantees required under the Framework agreement or a Specific agreement;

Establish the requests for payment in accordance with the Framework agreement and the Specific agreements;

Ensure that all the appropriate payments are made to the other partners without unjustified delay;

Bear responsibility for providing all the necessary documents in the event of checks and audits initiated before the payment of the balance, and in the event of evaluation.

The FPA is an open and evolving framework that all implementing partners have to join to access EU grants, complemented by an Internal Cooperation Agreement (ICA), mandatory according to FPA provision, and connecting all partners in the FPA together. EC is not bound by the ICA, only by the FPA.

Formally, all stakeholders with projects awarded by INEA have to sign both the FPA and the ICA to become FPA partners. Then, FPA partners have the option to become members of the SESAR Deployment Manager.

Within the FPA, Specific Grant Agreements will bind INEA and the beneficiaries, including SDM, for the reception and management of grants. The SESAR Deployment Manager, in its role of FPA coordinator, will manage the distribution of the financial support awarded by INEA to the implementing projects. The FPA coordination activities will be co-funded by the EC as an integral part of the awarded projects, and by the implementing partners of the projects, according to projects proposals and in compliance with the terms and conditions of the ICA.