If goes without saying that safety is the highest priority in air traffic management. For this reason, SESAR has set an ambitious performance target to reduce flight risk per flight hour so that the overall number of fatal accidents per year with ATM contribution does not increase, irrespective of traffic growth. To reach this target, SESAR is developing new technologies and procedures to reduce hazards and mitigate and manage risk.

Airspace safety

Mid-air collisions can occur through miscommunication, error in navigation, and deviations from flight plans. Enhanced conflict and detection and resolution, as well as situational awareness tools will contribute to reduce the risk of a mid-air collision.

Runway and taxiway safety 

A runway or taxiway collision could happen if an unauthorized aircraft, vehicle or person is on a runway or taxiway. Given that the amount of air traffic is expected to increase such incursions could be on the rise. SESAR is introducing a collection of new tools (such as, safety nets, surface planning and routing, alert to vehicle drivers, among others) to improve airport surface movement and reduce runway/taxiway incursions.

Controlled flight into terrain 

Controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) occurs when an aircraft, under complete control of the pilot, is inadvertently flown into terrain, water, or an obstacle. Most CFIT accidents occur in the approach and landing phase of flight and are often associated with non-precision approaches and are attributed to the loss of situational awareness of a pilot. To avoid such accidents, SESAR is further developing new approach procedures with vertical guidance, dynamic vortex.

EU policy on Aviation safety

Faced with the growth of air traffic and a huge number of carriers resulting from the successful implementation of the single aviation market, the European Union (EU) has decided to seize the initiative, to ensure that all passengers can benefit from the same level of safety in the European sky.

Beyond ensuring a high level of safety for the passengers, the EU air safety policy promotes rules that are cost efficient and facilitate the free movement of products, services and persons involved in civil aviation.

To ensure an alignment on Europe’s aviation safety system, SESAR collaborates closely with the following organisations:

  • European Commission
  • The European Aviation Safety Agency
  • National civil aviation authorities 
  • Member State safety investigation authorities 
  • Industry bodies, such as aircraft manufacturers, airlines and other undertakings participating in the single aviation market.

SESAR is also actively engaged in strengthening aviation safety at international level through regular dialogue with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICA0).

The backbone of Europe’s aviation safety system is constituted by a set of common safety rules . These common safety rules, which apply both to industry and civil aviation authorities, constitute the basis of the initial approval and continuing oversight of all undertakings engaged in aviation activities in Europe.