MG (Ret.) Denis Koehl
Future Forces Forum Future Forces Exhibition 2018
Senior Military Advisor
European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
The Necessary Cooperation on Safety Between Civil and Military Aviation
The cooperation between civil and military in aviation safety has never been so relevant and as necessary as it is today. Both operate in same airspace with often dual-use platforms, safety and security threats are increasingly interconnected, while facing similar technological challenges. As EU aviation safety regulator, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) applies a total system approach as its scope of competences cover airworthiness, operations, licences, airports and traffic management. To adapt to its various challenges, the Agency implements a performance-based regulatory environment. This concept is built on the principle that the regulator can define safety performance objectives and control how industry reaches these objectives while leaving to industry a degree of freedom in the choice of means to achieve such safety objectives. This performance based environment suits very well the military sector, which has its own standards not necessarily compliant with those in civilian aviation, but very often exceeding performance requirements. In these challenging times, where new security and safety threats are rapidly emerging, and where resources to counter them are scarce, civil-military cooperation is key to success. EASA has been a pioneer in identifying and utilising synergies between civil and military activities in several projects. It is among its strategic aims to continue this role and reach out for further partnerships in the future.
Born in 1956, General Denis Koehl joined the French Air Force on April 12, 1976. He entered the Air force Academy in Salon de Provence AFB in September 1978, obtained his pilot’s wings on February 17, 1982 and received his first assignment at the Fighter squadron 02.003 ‘Champagne’ at Nancy Ochey AFB. He obtained all the qualification as Navy Fighter pilot in the Navy Air Fleet 11Fin Landivisiau, performing several tours on board aircraft carriers ‘Foch’ and ‘Clemenceau’ including one during operations ‘Prométhée’ and ‘Saint-Michel’ in the Strait of Ormuz in the Persian Gulf. He was given command of the Fighter squadron 03.007 at Saint-Dizier AFB where he performed operational detachments in Saudi Arabia (1991) and N’djamena (Chad). Promoted as Lieutenant-colonel in August 1993, he was posted as Operations officer of the 12th Fighter Wing at Cambrai AFB and later Deputy Commander of this Wing. In 1995, he was given the command of the Fighter squadron 02.012 where he participated in several operational detachments in Italy and Saudi Arabia . In September 1997, he entered the Joint War College in Paris. The year after he was posted to Taverny AFB as Assistant chief for Air operations of the Air defence and operations command and is promoted Colonel. His deep experience and knowledge on air operations made him designated as Deputy air assets commander and senior national representative to the Combined Air Operations Centre at Vicenza (Italy) from July to September 1999. In August 2000, he was assigned to the Joint operations centre in Paris as assistant to the chief of the Yugoslavia Crisis Cell and Expert for Kosovo matters. The following year he became in charge of this cell and responsible for all French militaries operations conducted in the Balkans. Denis was posted as Commander of the Air force base in Orange in July 2002. During the operation ‘Artémis’ in Uganda, from June to September 2003, he was detached to organize and command the Combined Joint Support Base on the Entebbe International Airport. In 2004, he received an assignment as General ‘Policy and Concepts’ at the Air Combat Command at Metz AFB. He was promoted Brigadier General in October 2005. Denis was posted in September 2006 as Chief of Staff to the Air forces Command, before joining NATO in Lisbon (Joint Force Command), one year later as Chief of the French Military Mission and French Representative to Commander. Promoted Major General in 2009, he ended this military career and joined the SESAR Joint Undertaking in Brussels in May 2010 as Senior Advisor to the Executive Director for Military Affairs.