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An Overview of SESAR

SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research Programme) is touted to be the answer to Europe’s rapidly growing air traffic congestion. The European Airspace is fragmented and will become more and more congested, as traffic is forecast to grow steadily over the next 15 years. In the past, many initiatives aiming at improving the ATM system […]




SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research Programme) is touted to be the answer to Europe’s rapidly growing air traffic congestion. The European Airspace is fragmented and will become more and more congested, as traffic is forecast to grow steadily over the next 15 years. In the past, many initiatives aiming at improving the ATM system were undertaken. However, for most of them, full benefits were not achieved mainly due to lack of commitment from a part of the Stakeholders or from deciders. Now, for the first time in European ATM history, an ATM improvement programme is involving the Aviation Players (civil and military, legislators, industry, operators, users, ground and airborne) for defining, committing to and implementing a pan-European programme, and to support the Single European Sky legislation.

The current air navigation services and their supporting systems are not fully integrated and are based on technologies which are already running at maximum. In order to accommodate future Air Traffic needs, a “paradigm shift”, supported by state-of-the-art and innovative technologies, is required.

The three phases of SESAR

The Definition Phase (2005-2008) produced the SESAR Master Plan, developed by a representative group of ATM stakeholders with recognized expertise to ensure wide buy-in and able to create commitment of the decision making level of the investors.

The Development Phase (2008-2013) has started and will produce the required new generation of technological systems and components as defined in the European ATM Master Plan.

The Deployment phase (2014-2020) will be a large scale production and implementation of the new air traffic management infrastructure, composed of fully harmonized and interoperable components which guarantee high performance air transport activities in Europe.




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About Wayne Farley

Wayne Farley

I am Wayne, an aviation safety evangelist who once made my living working in the control tower. Engage me while I share my thoughts, experience, and news from the aviation world. After writing "13 Characteristics of an air traffic controller" in 2010, it went viral and established me as an unofficial ambassador for ATC.

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