ATM, which is responsible for sustainable, efficient, and safe operations in civil aviation, is still nowadays a very complex and highly regulated system. A substantial change in the current ATM paradigm is needed because this system is reaching the limit of its capabilities. Its capacity, efficiency, environmental impact, and flexibility should be improved to accommodate airspace users’ requirements. The Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) Program aims at developing a new generation of ATM system.
The SESAR program is one of the most ambitious research and development projects ever launched by the European Community. The program is the technological and operational dimension of the Single European Sky (SES) initiative to meet future capacity and air safety needs. Contrary to the United States, Europe does not have a single sky, one in which air navigation is managed at the European level. Furthermore, European airspace is among the busiest in the world with over 33,000 flights on busy days and high airport density. This makes air traffic control even more complex. The Single European Sky is the only way to provide an uniform and high level of safety and efficiency over Europe’s skies. The major elements of this new institutional and organizational framework for ATM in Europe consist of: separating regulatory activities from service provision and the possibility of cross-border ATM services; reorganizing European airspace that is no longer constrained by national borders; setting common rules and standards, covering a wide range of issues, such as flight data exchanges and telecommunications.
The mission of the SESAR Joint Undertaking is to develop a modernized air traffic management system for Europe. This future system will ensure the safety and fluidity of air transport over the next thirty years, will make flying more environmentally friendly, and reduce the costs of air traffic management system. Indeed, the main goals of SESAR are SESAR Consortium :
- 3-fold increase the air traffic movements whilst reducing delays;
- improvement the safety performance by a factor of 10;
- 10% reduction in the effects aircraft have on the environment;
- provide ATM services at a cost to airspace users with at least 50% less.