Single European Sky

SESAR Programme 

Aena is ready to form part of a team which will play a decisive part in shaping the future of air traffic control.


Single European Sky ATM Research

SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) is a joint project of the European air transport community which is dedicated to implementing a high performance European ATM by 2020. This project arose from the need to create an integrated, shared vision of the evolution of the air traffic control system, catering to predicted increases in demand in the coming years, through the implementation of new procedures and technologies.

SESAR's activities are divided into the following areas:

- Definition Phase (2006-2008), with the main aim of creating a European Master Plan for air traffic control. This phase was executed by a consortium contracted by Eurocontrol (which funded it jointly with the European Commission) with representatives of the most important companies and organisations in the European air transport industry: airlines (Lufthansa, Iberia, Air France,...), manufacturers (Airbus, Thales, Indra,...), airports (Aena, BAA, Fraport, Schipol,...) and air navigation services providers (Aena, DFS, NATS, ENAV, DSNA,...).

- Development phase (2009-2016), during which the research, development and validation tasks contained in the ATM Master Plan are carried out. All the activities in this phase are co-ordinated and funded through the SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU), ultimately responsible for the maintenance of the ATM master plan and the development of the future European ATM system.

The SJU was created through Regulation 219/07 of 27 February 2007 and has an overall budget of some €2.1 billion, both from its founding members (the European Commission and Eurocontrol) and from the group of European ATM companies that are members of its Board of Directors. These ATM companies (all with important positions in the sector, and with a prime interest in influencing the evolution of the ATM system) were preselected after a call for statements of interest on 27 June 2007, and their definitive contribution and representation on the Board of Directors of the SJU was finally decided based on their proposal for participation in the SJU work programme.

In addition to the founding members – the EC and Eurocontrol – the main European ATM players are represented in the SJU: participating as Air Navigation providers: DFS, DSNA, ENAV, NATS and NORACON (consortium of providers from northern Europe and Austria); as members of the manufacturing industry in the sector: Airbus, Alenia, Frequentis, Honeywell, Spanish company Indra, industrial consortium NATMIG, Selex and Thales, and the airport consortium SEAC (BAA, FRAPORT, Munich, Schipol, Zurich and ADP). Aena is participating both as an Air Navigation services provider and as an airport manager.

The SJU work programme began formally on 3 June 2009. Aena leads the airport operations area, participating in 95 projects of the nearly 300 comprising the programme, and leading 16 of them. Aena's contribution is valued at some €74 million, with maximum joint funding of €36.4 million.

Through its participation, Aena will influence mainly the definition of operational concepts in the areas of Route, TMA and airports, in establishing the most suitable validation and verification infrastructure, and supporting and influencing the ATC developments of industrial partners.

- Deployment phase (2014-2020), during which the operational solutions and their technical facilitators, identified in the European Master Plan, will be implemented progressively.

Aena is ready to form part of a team which will play a decisive part in shaping the future of air traffic control. As an air navigation services provider (ANSP), Aena subscribes the principles that ANSPO (the world-wide organisation of ANSPs of which Aena's Air Navigation Department is a member) have declared should govern the project:

  • SESAR has a comprehensive approach, including research, development and implementation. Furthermore, the activities of SESAR should not duplicate other existing activities.
  • The programme must be oriented towards a specific level of services and not specific technological solutions.
  • Given the direct impact of the outcome of SESAR on air transport planning, system deployment and system operation, it is essential that the operators of the system take on an influential role within the governing bodies of SESAR, as they are the ones who will have to bear the risks arising from the implementation of the project.
  • The ANSPs should retain control of the management of the services and infrastructures required to ensure safe and efficient operation of the system.
  • The ATM industry, in general (including the ANSPs), must participate actively and head any updating of the European ATM Master Plan arising from the SESAR Definition Phase.

More information on the SESAR Programme at: www.sesarju.eu.

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