NATO-Russia Council to monitor airspace safety of commercial flights using Level 3 network

LONDON, 15 Jan. 2013. Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT) signed a contract with the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA) to install and maintain an IP Virtual Private Network (VPN) to be used by the NATO-Russia Council Cooperative Airspace Initiative (NRC CAI).

The initiative’s aim is to enhance airspace transparency between NATO and Russia, identify suspicious aircraft activities, and provide early warnings through the monitoring of NATO-Russian airspace. The Level 3 network will connect NATO monitoring facilities and enable real-time display and observation of commercial airspace activities.

"The Level 3 network will support the improvement of air safety for the thousands of passengers using international flights between NATO and Russian airspace each day, and the millions of inhabitants on the ground," explains Dr Rene van der Heiden, program manager and leader of the NRC CAI Operations and Enhancement Support Team.

"The Level 3 network and our IP VPN services are designed for performance, security and productivity, and we are pleased to be selected by NATO to provide IP VPN-based infrastructure between the key locations of the CAI network," says James Heard, Level 3 regional president of EMEA. "With our services, NATO will be able to exchange air traffic information and direct voice coordination with the security and reliability they need."

The joint NATO-Russia CAI system was completed in 2009, and the CAI's testing period began to see how well the system worked sharing air traffic information. In Dec. 2011, NRC Foreign Ministers declared the system operational. In 2013, the NRC will have a 24/7 capability to monitor air traffic.

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