A partnership for smarter aviation: Europe’s SESAR Joint Undertaking extended

A key European collaboration that brings together Airbus with fellow industry leaders, Europe’s EUROCONTROL air navigation safety organisation, the European Commission and other key stakeholders is ready to expand its horizons.

20 June 2014 Feature story

The Council of Ministers of the European Union has extended the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research (SESAR) Joint Undertaking to 2024 – with the objective of fostering research and innovation for the region’s air traffic management (ATM) system.

Established in 2007, the SESAR Joint Undertaking is a public-private partnership which manages the development of the SESAR research and innovation project.

SESAR 2020 – this initiative’s next phase – will continue the results already developed during the SESAR programme, which commenced in 2008 and runs through 2016.  SESAR 2020 – expected to run from 2015 onwards – aims to demonstrate the viability of solutions developed by the SESAR programme in larger and more operationally-integrated environments. 

Airbus contributions to SESAR comprise such activity as “initial 4D” (i4D) evaluations with the company’s MSN001 A320 flight-test aircraft – using four-dimensional (three dimensions and time) optimised air traffic management technology – which were conducted in 2012 with follow-up testing this year to demonstrate more reliable, cost-efficient and environmentally-friendly ATM. 

Other achievements of the SESAR programme to date include: remote tower services to provide access to remote regions and boost regional economies; toolkits to increase safety on airport runways; free routing for more efficient flights and reduced fuel emissions; and creation of an ATM intranet for the seamless exchange of information and better collaborative decision-making.

SESAR – the technological pillar of the Single European Sky (SES) initiative – is targeted to provide a high-performance air traffic control infrastructure for Europe, increasing air space capacity, improving safety, as well as reducing the air transport sector’s environment impact and the cost of ATM services. 

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