Air traffic continues to increase in Europe, which calls for solutions to make the most of limited runway and airspace capacity so that airlines can offer their passengers the schedules and choice of destinations that they want.

Airspace capacity

With more flights occupying Europe’s airspace, current ATM operations and procedures are being stretched to their limits. SESAR’s solutions aim to help air traffic controllers find new ways of dealing with the increased and complex traffic. SESAR is delivering major improvements which will increase airspace capacity by focussing on complexity management, automation and enhanced airspace management.


Airport capacity

Currently, the primary constraint for the busiest airports in Europe is the lack of runway capacity. SESAR is developing new technologies and procedures that will help airports to significantly improve arrival/departure management and enhance runway throughput.

In terms of the network, the ambition is to increase traffic throughput in order to accommodate all the forecast demand with a sufficient margin. In this respect, starting from the suboptimal delay situation in 2012 and assuming 50 % traffic growth by 2035 (i.e. reaching 14.4 million flights per year), the SESAR ambition is to increase network capacity by 80-100 %. Regarding airports, the aim is to accommodate between 220 000 and 440 000 of the estimated 1.9 million additional flights per year.