Smart ATM

Artificial intelligence

What is Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a branch of computer science that aims to create intelligent machines. It has become an essential part of the technology industry. AI can be narrow, handling just one particular task, or strong meaning a machine with the ability to apply intelligence to any problem.

Machine learning is a core part of AI. It uses data to train algorithms and give computer systems the ability to "learn" (i.e. progressively improve performance on a specific task) with data, without being explicitly programmed.

Deep learning is the most advanced type of
machine learning. In recent years, the availability of large amount of data (“big data”) and the leap forward in computing power have paved the way towards unprecedented levels of performance, allowing for new levels of automation.


The potential of AI for ATM has not gone unnoticed by SESAR. Automation is already a core focus of SESAR research and development, particularly with regard the automation of repetitive tasks by controllers. Providing more support to these tasks will enable pilots and air traffic controllers to focus on safety critical tasks. Automation is also proving invaluable for ensuring the seamless exchange of information and improved collaboration between all actors, including with the airborne side.

More recently, we have built up a portfolio of projects with specific AI components often using machine learning to process big data. These applications have been put to the test to better understand and address the underlying patterns of traffic. 

Latest news on AI

  • 26.10.2021

    Giving “thanks” to automation

    “Mahalo” is Hawaiian for “thank you”. It is also the name that SESAR JU partners have given to their project on how to best introduce automation into air traffic management. As Stefano Bonelli, MAHALO coordinator explains, the choice of name captures both the technical description and creative spirit behind a project, which aims to make AI-enabled agents “team-players” that are capable of cooperating fully with air traffic controllers rather than just  “black boxes” that output solutions when and where necessary.

  • 17.03.2021

    AI, boosting safety and resilience in aviation

    There is growing pressure on the ATM system to become more cost efficient and at the same time manage traffic that is set to become more complex and diversified. All the while maintaining the already high levels of safety! This sounds like a bit of conundrum, but it is one that can be solved with the help of artificial intelligence, explains Paula López-Catalá from Innaxis from the recently started SafeOPs project.

  • 27.09.2021

    Shining a light on resilience and safety in air traffic management

    It is perhaps fitting that SESAR JU partners chose the Spanish word for lighthouse, FARO, as the name for their project. As Christian Verdonk Gallego, FARO Project Manager from CRIDA, explains, the project is hoping to shine a light on how changes in air traffic management systems can impact safety and resilience.

Artificial Intelligence Projects

"It is no surprise that artificial intelligence or AI is entering progressively into everyday parlance in air traffic management. The availability of data, advanced algorithms not to mention the leap forward in computing power means that AI now has something real and smart to offer our industry"

Florian Guillermet, Executive Director of the SESAR Joint Undertaking