The Nordic Defence Ministers take next step on cooperation on air transportation.
At their meeting in Helsinki, December 3rd, the Nordic Defence Ministers took an important step towards closer cooperation on air transportation by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU covers close coordination of use of air transport assets and facilitated practices when exchanging services and sharing costs.
- Cooperation on development and use of airlift has great potential and contains all the factors that NORDEFCO is all about. Together the Nordic countries spend just over 130 Million Euros annually to operate their air transport capabilities. This means that savings of some percentage points quickly becomes substantial amounts. However, the positive effects will not only come in the form of savings but also as operational gains by increased availability of aircraft and enhanced quality in training, says Ine Eriksen Søreide.
Increased cost efficiency and operational effect Cooperation under this MoU covers air transport assets owned by the participants, assets owned in partnership with others and also leased or rented air transport assets. The participants have agreed to make air transport assets available for the cooperation to maximum extend. Unless otherwise agreed, each participant will cover their own expenses.
The MoU is the continuation of the Letter of Intent (LoI) that the ministers signed November 5th 2012. The letter of intent describes ambitions to cooperate on all aspects of developing, maintaining and using air transportation capabilities with the overall purpose of increased cost efficiency and operational effect.
Further implementations of the intentions described in the LoI are driven by the defence commands. Besides the cooperation covered by the MoU several other initiatives are being pursued; common training; the establishment of a joint sustainment-solution; a common pool of spare parts; joint procurement of heavy maintenance and the ability to conduct work on each other's aircraft are examples.
- All the Nordic countries have so far shown enthusiasm and determination on this project. There is a profound common interest among my colleagues in this project. We will follow this cooperation closely as it continues to evolve and deliver, says Ine Eriksen Søreide.