Air transport contributes significantly to European economic growth and employment. As demand in air transport is constantly growing, developing an efficient air transport infrastructure in Europe is a priority for the European Union (EU). This is why the EU launched in 2004 the Single European Sky initiative, which aims to:
- restructure national airspaces with a consolidated air traffic service provision;
- modernise air traffic management (ATM) infrastructure in order to provide the required capacity that continuing traffic growth entails.
A "capacity crunch" can only be avoided through revolutionary technological innovation and the elimination of fragmentation. To achieve these objectives, the European Commission has launched the SESAR programme: the technological dimension of the Single European Sky.