Major airlines, business & general aviation, associations on board of SESAR to modernise the European sky

Brussels, 15th September 2009. The SESAR Joint Undertaking, a unique public-private partnership in air traffic management research and development, has signed contracts with Air France & Régional, KLM, Iberia, Lufthansa Group including SWISS and LCAG, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, TAP Portugal, Novair, a consortium coordinated by EBAA including Netjets Europe and Dassault Aviation, as well as IATA, and IAOPA to engage their technical experts in the SESAR programme. The SESAR Joint Undertaking is now poised to tackle its vital mission: to develop a user-driven, modernised and affordable Air Traffic Management system for Europe, which will prevent crippling congestion of the European sky and reduce the environmental impact of air transport.

Giovanni Bisignani, Director General and CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents some 230 international airlines, commented: "SESAR needs to deliver results on the industry's top priorities - safety, environmental responsibility and financial sustainability. It must also be completed on time and in-line with customer needs. Today's agreement is important because it accelerates validation of future technologies with flight trials in real conditions."

The implementation of the future ATM system developed by SESAR will make it possible for airspace users to meet future consumer demand for air transport, raise service and safety levels, while reducing cost and environmental impact. The SESAR Programme takes into consideration the needs of the whole airspace users’ community with similar working arrangements being implemented to engage the military community. The SESAR JU needs expertise support in all the airspace users’ domains which interact with the Air Traffic Management system. This includes:

  • Flight operations, in particular in the area of fuel efficiency;
  • Flight planning processes and supporting systems;
  • Aircraft system specifications (avionics);
  • Operations control processes (OCC) and supporting systems;
  • Data link;
  • Production planning processes (aircraft scheduling, network management) and supporting systems;
  • Crew training (including licensing, recruitment, etc.);
  • Cost and revenue evaluation.

The SESAR JU is targeting specific users' categories whose technical expertise is needed for the execution of the SESAR Programme: Scheduled & Charter Airlines, Low Cost Airlines, Cargo Operators, Business Aviation and General Aviation as well as the military sector. Air France & its affiliate Régional, a consortium of General & Business aviation ‘actors named EBAA including NETJET and Dassault Aviation, KLM, Iberia, Lufthansa Group including SWISS & LCAG, Novair, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, TAP Portugal and two associations namely IATA representing airlines and IAOPA representing aircraft owners and pilots will benefit from the SJU’s financing to include their input in every key step of the SESAR work programme.

"It is essential or even vital for the success of SESAR that the expertise of the airlines is integrated as from day one of the development phase. SESAR is made for and by the air space users. They will participate and analyse the outcomes of the SESAR projects from a technical and cost perspectives which will reinforce the user driven approach of the future SESAR technologies and procedures." insisted Patrick KY, Executive Director of the SESAR Joint Undertaking. The SESAR new components and operational procedures will be gradually implemented as from 2012 till 2020.