Airspace Architecture Study - Top 5 questions

Jun. 22, 2018

What is the rationale for the Airspace Architecture Study?

On 17 February 2017, the European Parliament called on the European Commission (EC) to implement the concept of the “European Upper Flight Information Region (EUIR)”, as an enabler for the gradual establishment of a “Trans-European Motorway of the Sky”, in alignment with the Single European Sky (SES) [1]. Building on the achievements of the SESAR [2] project, the European Parliament [3] invited the EC Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) to launch a pilot project to produce a study on the Single European Sky SES/SESAR airspace architecture.  

Who is contributing to the study?

DG MOVE tasked the SESAR Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) to carry out the study, in close coordination and with the support of the Network Manager. The SESAR JU is also working closely with all air traffic management (ATM) stakeholders through bilateral meetings and a series of consultation workshops.

What are the objectives of the study?

The study will propose how the European airspace architecture should look in the medium to long term (2035), and the steps to be taken to achieve this.  Specifically, the study will:

[OBJ 1]  Describe the current European airspace for en-route services and operations, its supporting architecture and explain the challenges that the new airspace architecture should try to solve;

[OBJ 2]  Propose scenarios for the roll-out of a service-oriented airspace architecture indicating for each scenario: the geographical scope, service requirements, timelines, supporting technologies, cost-benefit analysis and potential contribution to the SES performance objectives;

[OBJ 3]  Identify transition plan options addressing amongst other infrastructure requirements (primarily on CNS), service model organisation, link to current and planned airspace enhancement initiatives (such as FRA), interoperability issues/requirements, link to future SESAR roll-out, and incentives.

How does the study relate to the European ATM Master Plan?

The study is not a new Master Plan, instead it builds on the vision and concept of operations outlined in the European ATM Master Plan – the planning tool for ATM modernisation Europe.

When will the study be delivered?

The study is due by the end of 2018.


[1] European Parliament resolution of 16 February 2017 on an Aviation Strategy for Europe (2016/2062(INI))

[2] The SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) project is the technological pillar of the SES and aims to develop the new generation European ATM system. The SESAR project comprises ATM related definition, research and development, validation and deployment activities and the related governance mechanisms and partnerships.

[3] Request of the European Parliament (MEP Marinescu): "The Pilot project would evaluate a new design for the EU airspace architecture based only on traffic flow efficiency, direct routes, and the most efficient number of control centres. This proposal should take in account SESAR-related technology in order to assure the most efficient deployment locations".