Tony Osborne April 06, 2020 Aviation Week
– A NATO initiative to speed up military reinforcement by air has been activated to support Europe’s battle against the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The Rapid Air Mobility (RAM) initiative—declared operational in October 2019—is the result of a collaboration between NATO and air traffic management agency Eurocontrol to remove constraints to military airlift flights.
RAM was originally developed as a means of getting equipment, supplies and personnel to the farthest reaches of the alliance such as the Baltic States in times of crisis when there is still commercial traffic crowding the skies or for peacetime exercises.
When activated, the scheme prioritizes flight routings and fast-tracks the diplomatic clearance process which can otherwise take several days to arrange if such clearances are required from several different nations.
To deal with NATO’s COVID-19 crisis, RAM was activated for the first time by the North Atlantic Council on April 3.
Nations that request its use receive a special call sign with the trigraph “OAN” from Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE).
With an OAN call sign, diplomatic clearances are fast-tracked and the flight can be waved through the airspace of different countries by air navigation service providers.
comment by kristine: it is awful what NATO is planing and I do not know which is more more awful, that NATO overrides civilian rules and control mechanisms or that politics accepts this, i.e. thinks only in war logic.