Second wave of SESAR industrial research gets underway

Feb. 25, 2020

The SESAR Joint Undertaking and its members have started a second wave of industrial research projects, aimed at delivering more digital solutions to transform Europe’s air traffic management. The projects will take forward the results from the first wave of research, focusing on solutions that can bring the most benefits in terms of the environment, capacity, safety and cost efficiency. With a budget of EUR 151 million, 15 projects* (12 focusing on industrial research and three very large-scale demonstrations) will continue work in the second wave of the programme with a view to delivering a further 50 solutions.




Enhanced arrivals and departures

PJ.01 W2 EAD

In order to meet the forecast traffic growth, and in particular traffic situations such as that of summer 2018, the project will develop concepts, tools and procedures to increase the capacity of terminal manoeuvring areas (TMAs) in a safe, cost-efficient and environmentally sustainable manner. This will be achieved by taking advantage of the latest technological developments from both an airborne and a ground-system perspective and through the secure sharing of data. The needs of all airspace users will be addressed including rotorcraft. The aim will be to improve the capacity while exploiting the environmental benefits achieved from continuous climb operations (CCO), continuous descent operations (CDO) and improved arrival sequencing. A focus will be to minimise delays and improve resilience and predictability for capacity-constrained high-density/complexity TMAs.

Airport airside and runway throughput


To improve the efficiency and resilience of arrival and departure operations at capacity constrained airports and access to secondary airports, the project will addresses human, technical, procedural and performance aspects of the following proposed improvements: advanced geometric GNSS based procedures; separation minima for increased runway throughput; improved access to secondary; digital evolution of integrated surface management; and safety support tools for avoiding runway excursions.

Total airport management

PJ.04 W2 TAM

The need for European airports to become more operationally efficient is fundamental as forecasts show that passenger numbers across the continent will rise an average of 3.3% per annum to reach 3.9 billion by 2036. The project will develop concepts, tools and procedures to increase the predictability and resilience of airport operations, improving the punctuality of flights in a safe and environmentally sustainable manner. The aim will be to improve airport/network integration for large and medium/regional airports, improve airport airside/landside integration, reduce the impact of MET aspects on airport operations, make further investigations about how environmental aspects could be monitored and managed in day-to-day airport operations.

Digital technology for tower

PJ.05 W2 DTT

The project will aim to deliver two solutions: multiple remote tower and remote tower centre and human machine interaction (HMI) modes for airport tower. Those solutions are expected to positively contribute to safety and increase situation awareness and controllers' productivity. The variety of partners and validation activities will ensure that the variety of operational needs are reflected in technical solutions.

Optimised airspace users operations


The project aims at defining and validating improved airspace users processes and tools in order to optimise ATM Network operations in SESAR 2020. The project will address the enhanced integration of AU trajectory definition and network management (NM) processes; a collaborative framework managing delay constraints on arrivals; andmission trajectory management with integrated dynamic mobile Areas (DMA) Type 1 and Type 2. It will also look at developing requirements and validate procedures and workflows for flight/wing operations centre to collaborative decision making between stakeholders throughout the flight trajectory. Other areas of focus include integrating AU priorities and preferences in airport and Network processes; making use of automation in collaborative decision making and coordination; better interoperability between AU and the NM operations.

Digital Network Management Services


The project will focus on improving the network traffic prediction for all stakeholders involved in demand capacity balancing, dynamic airspace configurations, integrated network management and ATC planning and collaborative network performance management.  This project is structured around three solutions: dynamic airspace configurations (DAC); enhanced network traffic prediction and shared complexity representation; and a prediction algorithm to anticipate the performance degradation in identified areas within the network. It will also validate the transition from local to regional measures in critical state.

Separation management and controller tools


The project aims to validate and progressively mature a series of separation management and controller tools aimed at boosting the performance of the air traffic system across all key areas. The project will focus on three solutions: flight-centric ATC and improved distribution of separation; delegation of airspace amongst air traffic service units (ATSU); HMI interaction modes for ATC centres.



The project aims to define, develop and validate the key operational and technological enablers that are necessary to ensure the integration of RPAS into non-segregated airspace. These include a detect and avoid (DAA) system for IFR RPAS operating in airspace A to C for collision avoidance and a framework for allowing routine access and operations by RPAS.

Integrated CNSS


The project aims to specify and develop the future technologies coming from the communication, navigation and surveillance (CNS) domains in order to support and manage the operational services, like the 4D trajectory management, in the future ATM system. Performance requirements for CNS systems are becoming increasingly complex and demanding and need to be considered as part of an integrated and holistic system of systems and a unified concept of operations, where possible. In parallel, CNS systems and infrastructure for both airborne and ground must take a more business- and performance-oriented approach with efficient use of resources delivering the required capability in a cost-effective and spectrum-efficient manner.

4D Skyways

PJ.18 W2 4D Skyways

The project aims to continue the research on trajectory management to enable a move towards trajectory-based operations (TBO). Focus will be place on improving the ground trajectory prediction and separation management/ monitoring tools by using aircraft trajectory data, more precise weather data, improved algorithms and machine learning techniques. The project will also explore new automation techniques that can support trajectory exchanges (big data, machine learning, voice recognition, etc) and define a common trajectory service as an alternative architecture for trajectory exchanges between ground ATM actors compared to the current fragmented approach.

Content integration, performance management and business case development

PJ.19 W2 CI

This transversal project provides a holistic view of the SESAR concept of operations, its high-level architecture, services and solutions. This is done in close collaboration and coordination with all SESAR 2020 projects through a continuous, rolling and iterative content integration process. The project assesses the performance of the SESAR Solutions compared with the performance ambitions set out in the European ATM Master Plan.

Master Planning


The project brings together the SESAR community, ensuring the broad ATM representativeness required from air navigation service providers, airports, airborne and ground industry and Network Manager, in order to maintain the roadmap on ATM modernisation.

Airport surface Management, Airport Safety Nets and ATSAW


While safety has improved thanks to airport surface management systems, these systems do not fully resolve the risk of runway incursions and are not envisaged to be deployed at smaller airports. And although traffic collision avoidance systems (TCAS) haves been in use since 1981, there is currently no aircraft system to prevent runway collisions. SESAR JU members and partners have developed a solution making use of ADS-B technology to provide on-board surface alerts (SURF-A & SURF-IA). This demonstration aims to assess the performance of this solution in real operational environments, in particular the absence of nuisance alert. This will be the largest ground ADS-B IN trial worldwide, paving the way towards the deployment of SURF-A/IA or future ADS-B applications and standards.

Improving runway throughput in one airport


The expected rapid growth in air traffic will lead to an increasing number of capacity constrained airports. Therefore airports have to improve significantly the runway and airport throughput while maintaining or increasing runway safety levels. This demonstration will put to the test four solutions delivered by SESAR JU partners: PJ.02-01: Wake turbulence separation optimisation PJ.02-02: Enhanced arrival procedures PJ.02-03: minimum pair separations based on required surveillance performance PJ.02-08: Traffic optimisation on single and multiple runway airports.  These will demonstrated several airports in Europe, including Heathrow, Vienna, Zurich and Stockholm Arlanda.


In 2019, the first wave of SESAR 2020 industrial research programme came to a close, delivering a number of solutions (as part of Release 9) to the necessary level of maturity to make them available for pre-industrialisation (Technology readiness level 6 or V3). See more

​ Read about these solutions in the 2019 SESAR Solutions Catalogue ​

The third edition of the SESAR Solution Catalogue provides a holistic view of the status of SESAR R&D in 2019 and offering solutions to some of the pressing challenges facing European aviation today. The publication covers the results of the first R&D programme (SESAR 1); more than 60 solutions, many of which are in the process of deployment at local and European levels. It also presents details of the ongoing R&D (candidate solutions) as we reach midway in the current programme, SESAR 2020. Finally, the catalogue gives a flavour of some of the promising results coming out of the SESAR’s dedicated exploratory research programme.

Download the catalogue


*1 large-scale demonstration pending signature