Today, ATM in Europe mostly consists of country-based systems and processes, which require customised systems and solutions at each ATM provider.

This has led inevitably to a lack of interoperability and higher costs of air navigation services across Europe and an inefficient usage of resources.

The virtual centre refers to the decoupling air traffic management (ATM) data services, such as flight data, radar, and weather information, from the physical controller working position (CWP).

The aim is to enable greater flexibility when it comes to organising air traffic control operations and, in doing so, seamless and more cost-efficient service provision to airlines and other airspace users.

Research is still ongoing but already the first SESAR results are promising in terms of increased flexibility in organising ATC operations in and between the air traffic service units (ATSUs), as well as enabling multiple ATSUs to perform services seamlessly from an airspace user’s perspective.

virtual centres diagram