The SESAR Joint Undertaking in close cooperation with the Network Manager and Eurocontrol has delivered to the European Commission a transition plan towards the implementation of a Single European Airspace System – as outlined in the recently published Airspace Architecture Study. The plan proposes a way forward with a focus on the next five years to optimise Europe’s airspace capacity by combining airspace design with available technology solutions from SESAR.
The ATM system in Europe as it operates today is approaching its capacity limits. Recent growth in air traffic is resulting in air traffic delays of a magnitude not seen for more than a decade. Increased air traffic congestion also adds to the environmental impact of aviation.
Recognising the urgency to act, the plan sets out three key operational and technical measures that need to be put in place in the short term (2020 to 2025) in order to set in motion the transformation changes outlined in the Airspace Architecture Study. These measures are:
- Launching an airspace re-configuration programme supported by an operational excellence programme to achieve quick wins;
- Ensuring the planned roll-out of SESAR Solutions that support cross-border free route operations, and air-ground and ground-ground connectivity;
- Accelerating market uptake of the next generation SESAR technologies and services in order to overcome the de-fragmentation of Europe’s skies through virtualisation and the free flow of data among trusted users across borders.
Further to these three measures, the transition plan also proposes how the Airspace Architecture Study recommendations can be taken up in existing plans to accelerate implementation towards a digital European sky.
The Plan is being published to coincide with a high-level conference on the future of the Single European Sky under the Finnish Presidency of the European Union, where modernisation plans will be further discussed.