SESAR Innovation Days 2018 puts innovative and disruptive aviation research into the spotlight

Dec. 10, 2018

From 3-7 December 2018, over 330 participants gathered for the annual SESAR Innovation Days (SIDs) event, which was kindly hosted by the University of Salzburg. The week-long event put air traffic management (ATM) exploratory research in the spotlight through a series of workshops, presentations, poster exhibitions and networking events.

Now in its 8th year, the 2018 SIDs has grown into an established networking platform for Europe’s academic and scientific aviation community. This year, we also welcomed a strong industry representation at the event, bringing together a very strong pool of scientific expertise in order to share research experiences, foster innovation and ultimately to sow the seeds of change in industrial ATM research.

The SIDs is also the main vehicle for the SESAR Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) to share progress and disseminate results of its exploratory research programme, funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 initiative. In addition, the event gave participants an opportunity to present research results from outside the programme, thereby ensuring a link between SESAR and the broader  aviation research agenda.

Against this background, researchers from universities, research institutions, airlines, air navigation service providers and industry were invited to submit papers presenting the results of their long-term or innovative research. Papers were evaluated based on the innovative nature of the ideas, as well as the approach and methods applied. A total of 35 papers were selected by a Programme Committee, chaired by Dirk Schaefer of Eurocontrol, these selected papers were clustered into 8 key themes. The papers can be downloaded from the SESAR JU website.

In addition to the papers published, researchers were also given the opportunity to present their work in poster sessions. A total of 32 posters were exhibited in parallel to the event, providing the opportunity for participants to learn about further interesting projects and to meet like-minded researchers. A summary of the posters selected can be found here.

This year the event also widened its geographic scope with contributions from international contributors in both the exhibition and paper sessions. The significance of global trends and the harmonisation of R&D results was also stressed during a dedicated high-level panel session on ‘aviation research in a global perspective’.

The underlying message of the event was disruptive innovation through research and key themes included the integration of drones/U-space, virtualisation, automation, enhanced data services, cybersecurity and connectivity.

On closing the conference, Peter Hotham, SJU’s Deputy Executive Director stated ‘As the aviation community, we must continue to encourage disruptive research if we are to not only recover from the present crisis, but also make progress towards our ultimate shared goal of delivering smart, seamless and safe air travel for Europe and its citizens.’

The planning for next year’s SIDs has already started and it was also announced that the SIDS 2019 will take place in Athens during the week of 2-6 December 2019.

Further information about the SIDs 2018:

Visit the SESAR Innovation Days official website to view and explore further background material:

  • Download the posters and papers
  • View the presentations
  • View and download photos

Or contact for any other questions.