• 7th of July, 2020
    14:30 > 15:15
  • Broadcast from SESAR JU, Brussels , Belgium
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How can ATM innovation help to reboot aviation sustainably? (Digital Sky vodcast)

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The second vodcast session How can ATM innovation help reboot aviation sustainably? brought together Marylin Bastin, Head of Aviation Sustainability of Eurocontrol and Marc Hamy, Airbus’ Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Sustainability and the Environment, to discuss with Florian Guillermet, Executive Director of the SESAR Joint Undertaking, the issue of sustainable aviation and the role that ATM can play.  Given the COVID-19 crisis, is sustainability still an issue?  Does the downturn give the ATM industry time to regroup and reconsider its obligations to sustainability? 

What is stopping us rethinking ATM and sustainability?

The current low levels of flying have put sustainability even more prominently on society’s agenda.  The public now notices clearer skies and less noise.  There is no option but to redouble our efforts to ensure that any redesign of operations and ATM focus on not only CO2 emissions but also noise, air quality and nitrogen oxides (NOX). 

What might a rethought ATM industry focus on sustainability look like?

The relatively empty skies allow us a chance to step back and consider a number of issues that centre on sustainability.  These include redefining airspace organisation in relation to trajectories as well as to traffic flow; and to refine procedures to focus on sustainability. 

Further, it is clear that a collaborative and pro-active approach is fundamental.  Recent trials of perfect trajectories – taking advantage of the absence of traffic – have shown us what is needed to implement the airspace design and procedure changes developed during these extraordinary times. 

Specific proposals include:

  • Focusing on network-centricity;
  • Redesigning sectors along trajectories and in accordance with traffic flows;
  • Demanding that training for controllers focuses on sustainability as well as safety;
  • Entrenching sustainability in global governance documents.

How do we get there?

There is a clear need for collaboration and a renewed focus on the importance of sustainability.  The SESAR JU’s large-scale demonstration flights can elaborate the procedural and operational changes needed from all stakeholders.  Nonetheless, those stakeholders will need to continue to work cooperatively and stay committed to innovation.

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