SESAR launches European ATM Master Plan 2024 campaign, anticipates new airspace users

Europe’s SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking has officially launched the European ATM Master Plan 2024 campaign for air traffic management modernisation. The plan serves as a powerful tool for ATM transformation, opening the trajectory to a digital and green European sky. It aims to reduce emissions, enhance safety, and accommodate new and emerging airspace users by streamlining the path to bring technology and procedures to market.
Industry leaders gathered at the SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking Annual Conference in Brussels gave their backing to the launch of a campaign to update the European ATM Master Plan, the official roadmap driving ATM modernisation efforts. Industry associations issued a Joint Declaration, committing to rapid and united action to make European airspace the most efficient and environmentally friendly sky to fly in the world.

The declaration acknowledges the need to boost cooperation and investment on breakthrough innovations, which will deliver the Digital European Sky and contribute to reducing aviation’s climate impacts. It highlights that, given the pressing climate goals, the safety-critical nature of ATM, and timeframes for innovation, the Master Plan is the vehicle that will provide essential direction and focus to future ATM investments. The Master Plan will also align efforts with the growing number of other initiatives and frameworks targeting aviation sustainability.

Analysis by the SESAR 3 JU, EASA and EUROCONTROL suggests that introducing new technologies and procedures into ATM can provide a significant and immediate contribution towards making aviation climate neutral, while work progresses on other high impact innovations, such as sustainable aviation fuels and new aircraft. For example, it is estimated that already delivered SESAR solutions could result in a 4% reduction in CO2 emissions per flight and that the solutions already implemented through Common Project 1 have contributed 2% in emissions reductions per flight.

The new European ATM Master Plan will set the vision and prioritise the digital solutions which will be the key enablers in delivering the Digital European Sky. The solutions will enable European airspace to flexibly accommodate new and different types of air vehicle, all flying climate-efficient trajectories that are dynamically adapted in real time using AI-enabled systems.

An extensive consultation now gets underway with industry stakeholders, European policymakers, and Member States. The aim is to have the new edition of the Master Plan adopted by the SESAR 3 JU Governing Board at the end of 2024.

The annual conference also paid tribute to the successful closure of the SESAR 2020 programme with 149 projects having delivered 127 solutions, which are now ready for deployment.

European Commissioner for Transport, Adina Ioana Vălean said: “Air traffic management can clearly play a significant part in both reducing aviation emissions and supporting smart and integrated transport solutions. Up to 10% of CO2 emissions could be avoided by increasing the efficiency of air traffic management in European airspace, as envisaged by the Single European Sky framework. I therefore welcome today’s launch of the European ATM Master Plan campaign to further modernise flying in Europe.”

(Image: Alain Siebert, SESAR3 JU)

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