How SESAR 2020 plans to deliver next-wave of ATM solutions

Leading figures from the air traffic management (ATM) sector will reveal how the new SESAR 2020 programme can deliver solutions to match growing demand with expectations for faster, safer, greener and better-connected services in Europe and beyond.

How SESAR 2020 plans to deliver next-wave of ATM solutions

Trends in digitisation, connectivity and decarbonisation efforts are driving a new wave of innovations designed to modernise and revitalise Europe’s ATM ecosystem.

Building on the results of its predecessor (SESAR 1), the SESAR 2020 programme brings together the entire ATM community to develop and deliver performance-oriented solutions for boosting aviation globally. The significant funding set aside for exploratory research, industrial innovation and large-scale demonstrations represents a serious investment in Europe’s aviation future, and shows a long-term commitment to leadership in this vital sector.

Co-funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020, Eurocontrol and industry members, the SESAR Joint Undertaking is delivering a stream of innovative technologies responding to the world’s pressing air ATM needs and achieving the Single European Sky (SES) vision.

The SESAR 2020 panel session, on 7 March at SESAR’s World ATM Congress exhibit, will explore how the three strands of this new streamlined programme work in order to transform the fresh ideas flowing out of exploratory research into future industry-proven solutions.

“Apart from being an ideal platform to bring together partners, members and major EU players in the SESAR constellation, panel sessions like this one will help to focus attention on some key challenges faced today, including how to better integrate drones into Europe’s aviation system, build a clearer picture of cyber-threats, and show specific benefits of performance-driven research and innovation under SESAR 2020,” noted Florian Guillermet, Executive Director, SESAR Joint Undertaking.

This is a huge challenge, but guided by the EU’s Aviation Strategy and a steadfast mission to deliver the Single European Sky, SESAR is proving that it can be done. Thanks to the support of its members and partners, SESAR has already achieved tangible results, known as SESAR Solutions, which are now being implemented locally and regionally across Europe. These Solutions, as presented in a freely available Catalogue, are meeting the performance ambitions set by the European ATM Master Plan.

Modern, intelligent, connected ATM solutions
With the next phase of R&D now underway with SESAR 2020, public and private partners are building the modern, well-connected air transport system that Europe needs. They are capitalising on lessons learned, forging stronger relationships and focusing on critical scale to deliver market-ready innovations in a timely, cost-effective fashion.

Two of the three major funding strands under SESAR 2020 were activated in 2016. A first round of 28 exploratory projects (EUR 20.4 million in EU Horizon 2020 funding) are now tasked with delivering “excellent ATM research and outreach” in areas such as automation and robotics, data and information management, meteorology and the environment, economics and regulatory issues, as well as “application-oriented ATM research” to take emerging technologies and concepts to maturity and boost industrial take-up.

Over EUR 220 million in EU funds have also been set aside for 25 first-wave industrial research projects responsible for developing, validating and preparing platforms that demonstrate the effectiveness of SESAR 2020 Solutions to a wider stakeholder community.

A call for very-large-scale demonstration projects, which closes at the end of March 2017, should net around EUR 18 million in EU-funding and aim at encouraging market readiness and the take-up of these solutions.

SESAR 2020

sesar 2020 atm masterplan programme solutions

SESAR 2020 concentrates the goals and priorities of the European ATM Master Plan into four key themes and three main funding strands supporting a streamlined number of projects focused on delivering a catalogue of innovative, performance-oriented solutions for Europe’s ATM users and passengers.


As the technological pillar of the Single European Sky initiative, SESAR aims to modernise and harmonise air traffic management in Europe. The SESAR Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) was established in 2007 as a public-private partnership to support this endeavour. It does so by pooling the knowledge and resources of the entire ATM community in order to define, research, develop and validate innovative technological and operational solutions. The SESAR JU is also responsible for the execution of the European ATM Master Plan which defines the EU priorities for R&D and implementation. Founded by the European Union and Eurocontrol, the SESAR JU has 19 members, who together with their partners and affiliate associations will represent over 100 companies working in Europe and beyond. The SESAR JU also works closely with staff associations, regulators, airport operators and the scientific community.

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