Modernising Europe’s Air Traffic Management

The modernisation of Europe’s Air Traffic Management (ATM) networks is crucial for the sustainability of European aviation and the forecasted increase in air traffic by 2035. The Single European Sky (SES) ATM research project “SESAR” is one of the most ambitious modernisation projects launched by the European Union contributing to the implementation of SES.

SESAR’s goal is to define, develop, and deploy the technological solutions needed to increase the performance of Europe’s ATM system, and consists of three main phases:

Definition

The European ATM Master Plan is the roadmap for driving the European ATM modernization programme, managed by the SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU). It sets out the necessary steps involved for the identification, the development, the validation and deployment of SESAR Solutions with technologies and operational procedures, linking them to the Single European Sky performance objectives and ensuring global interoperability and consistency with the ICAO Global Air Navigation Plan.

Development

The SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU), established end of 2007, is responsible for research and development required for the modernization of the European ATM system by coordinating and concentrating all relevant efforts in the EU. It is a public-private partnership (PPP) between the European Union – represented by the European Commission – and Eurocontrol (the founding members) and industrial European ATM stakeholders.

Deployment

The SESAR Deployment Manager (SDM), established end 2014, came as the natural sequence of the SJU. Under the oversight of the Policy Level led by the European Commission, it is responsible for the Management Level of the SESAR deployment governance, for the coordination of the implementation of the most essential SESAR operational improvements through the concept of Common Projects. A Common Project is an extraction from the  European ATM Master Plan, based on SESAR Solutions to be deployed in a synchronized and timely manner across Europe, translated into an European Law. Whilst the European ATM Master Plan is indicative, a Common Project binds EU Member States and their operational stakeholders.