A plan to enhance automation, cyber-secure data sharing and connectivity in air traffic management throughout Europe has been approved by the administrative board of the public-private partnership that coordinates the European Union’s advanced research and development activities for air traffic management.
The Administrative Board of the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management (ATM) Research (SESAR) Joint Undertaking approved the 2020 version of the European ATM Master Plan earlier this week.
The board said the move signaled “strong consensus across Europe’s aviation sector to move ahead swiftly with the digital transformation of Europe’s aviation infrastructure, making air transport smarter, more sustainable and accessible to all.”
The goal is to achieve a “digital European sky” by 2040, with accompanying improvements in air traffic services as well as the inclusion of operations at very low altitudes and high altitudes, the board said.
Eurocontrol Director General Eamonn Brennan, who is also the vice chair of the SESAR Administrative Board, said that Eurocontrol has “already taken a first important step towards investment in a digital transformation programme for the Eurocontrol network manager, featuring advanced capabilities and new services that will support the evolution of operational concepts over coming decades.”
The master plan addresses some of the key challenges facing European aviation, including digital disruption and capacity constraints, both in the air and on the ground, Henrik Hololei, chair of the Administrative Board, said.
The board said the master plan, which is updated every three or four years, “sets the direction for developing, delivering and deploying the technologies and standards needed to transform Europe’s aviation infrastructure, enabling it to handle the future growth and diversity of air traffic safely and efficiently, while minimising environmental impact.”