SESAR JU and the Environment
Enabling Greener Flights
Webinars & vodcast
Enabling the "Perfect Flight"
SESAR is playing an important role, alongside other stakeholders in the ATM value chain, by addressing inefficiencies in air traffic management. Through our research and innovation programme we are seeking to bring about a digital transformation in ATM, developing technological solutions that can deliver a “perfect flight” in terms of carbon emissions reduction and that can create a fully connected airspace.
This requires looking at every phase of the flight and use of the airspace, and seeing what technologies can be used to eliminate fuel inefficiencies. It also requires synchronised data exchange and operations on the ground and in the air to ensure maximum impact.
Much of the focus of the work has been on making taxi-out operations more predictable and efficient, reducing holding patterns and vectoring in terminal airspace upon arrival; and optimising trajectories through the use of i4D, among other technologies. All of which bring fuel savings.
A perfect flight is composed of several innovative procedures, including:
- Optimised climb and descent operations, which are already implemented at several European airports
- Free routing in the cruise phase of flight, to be operational Europe-wide by 2025
- Optimised extended arrival management, eliminating unnecessary holding, fuel burn and emissions with planned implementation across Europe by 2025
- Steeper approaches for landing, helping to reduce noise levels around airports between now and 2030
Extended arrival management
More Solutions in the Pipeline
We have more green solutions that are under development in SESAR 2020
|Wake turbulence separation optimisation (PJ.02-01): Optimisations of wake separations between aircraft during final approaches and delivering aircraft at threshold more closely spaced than in legacy operations enable a reduction of flying time and thus of fuel (and emissions).
|Enhanced arrival procedures (PJ.02-02): This candidate solution seeks to reduce delays in the terminal manoeuvring area (TMA), as well the average ground departure delay per flight, which also reduces fuel burn.
Traffic optimisation on single and multiple runway airports (PJ.02-08): This candidate solution enables efficient operations through early planning to support predictability, continuous descent and enhanced runway throughput operations. Since this concept increases predictability and punctuality in particular, fuel efficiency benefits are possible thanks to a reduction in arrival and departure delay; taxi-time; and of the average flight duration.
|Minimum-pair separations based on Required Surveillance Performance (PJ.02-03): Fuel savings are achieved thanks to a reduction in arrival and departure delay, taxi-time, and average flight duration.
|High productivity controller team organisation (PJ.10-01a): Fuel burn is reduced due to the use of one controller to manage constraints at sector boundaries thereby avoiding unnecessary climb, for example, in en-route (medium to high complexity) and extended TMA (high complexity).
|Enhanced rotorcraft operations in the TMA (PJ.01-06): This candidate solution sees a decrease in fuel consumption by reducing the length of the approaches in the TMA.
European Green Deal
The European Green Deal launched by the European Commission in December 2019 aims to create the world’s first climate-neutral bloc by 2050. This ambitious target calls for deep-rooted change across the aviation sector and places significantly stronger focus on the environmental impact of flying.
In SESAR, we want to build further on the progress we have made so far on the environment so that we can contribute to making the European airspace the most efficient and environmentally friendly sky to fly in the world.
Digital european sky
Considering the urgency of the situation, we need to look at how we can accelerate the digital transformation in order to support a swift transition to greener aviation. Large-scale demonstrators will be key to bridging the industrialisation gap, bringing these innovations to scale and encouraging rapid implementation by industry.
These will focus on solutions enabling “perfect flights” from an emissions perspective, eliminating unnecessary ATC interventions that would result in a degradation of the optimum trajectory and generate extra emissions. The demonstrators would also facilitate the integration of the next generation of aircraft that will be cleaner and quieter.
It is estimated that a digital European sky could save 28 million tonnes of CO2 per year, which is roughly equivalent to the CO2 produced by 3.2 million people or the population in the metropolitan area of a city like Madrid.