Maurice Georges, DSNA

SESAR has moved R&D in a very short time

2016 marks the completion of the first phase of SESAR research and innovation (SESAR 1) and the delivery of technological and operational solutions ready for deployment. In this article, Maurice Georges, DSNA, shares his thoughts on the achievements of the SESAR JU partnership.

In 2009, DSNA has jumped into the SESAR program with concepts coming from previous research and development activities such as Departure Manager, Assistance tools for planning controller (the ERATO concept) or Point Merge arrival procedure. These concepts have been refined, experimented and validated during the first 2 years of the SJU activities and are now operational in Paris-CDG airport, Brest and Paris ACCs. Then new concepts and ideas arouse from R&D projects or demonstration projects. The E-AMAN concept has reached an unprecedented level of maturity thanks to live trials exercise between Reims and London in 2014. As a result of this exercise, SWIM standardization for E-AMAN has been launched and pre-operational use has continued beyond the SESAR exercise. 

In a similar way, the demonstration project D-FLEX has paved the way to ongoing use of departure flights user prioritization process in Paris-CDG airport.  In 2015, the Extended ATC Planning (EAP) tools developed for a V2 exercise has been moved into a live trial in Reims ACC. Thanks to the promising results, this tool is going to be deployed in 2016 and will be a major contributor to the Flow centric operation concept which is one of the key targets of the 2015 revised ATM Master Plan. These topics have moved from R&D to implementation in a very short time thanks to engineering methodology, partnership and management in the SJU framework. Other concepts have also been launched such as Target Time for ATFCM purpose in the Fair Stream and iStream demonstration projects. They will need further refinement and validation but are clearly very promising.

The SJU partnership made of major ANSPs, manufacturing Industry and Eurocontrol in addition to the airline involvement has been key to some cross-border activities such as E-AMAN or Interoperability validation. It has also been an enriching experience for many DSNA people either from engineering and operational entities to exchange their views with other multicultural stakeholders. A more and more cooperative spirit has progressively developed between the various SESAR members and with the SJU staff or management. This cooperative spirit is certainly the most efficient way to deliver together SESAR solutions that can be implemented in the deployment phase.

It is now time to manage the transition from SESAR 1 to SESAR 2020. With a revised project  structure, with project description in line with the revised ATM Master Plan, DSNA expects SESAR 2020 to refine the most challenging concepts of SESAR 1 while addressing innovative solution such as Flow centric operation, virtualization or integration of drones.

DSNA, as an ANSP member of A6 alliance, has been a very active contributor to the first SESAR development phase by validating many SESAR solutions out of which at least 6 of them have already moved into operation, thanks to the operational, technical and management expertise competencies of DSNA staff, its affiliates (ENAC, MeteoFrance, ONERA) and associates (LVNL/NLR, Belgocontrol and Skyguide). We have no doubt that this momentum will continue in SESAR2020.