Preparing for the Future
Looking to the future of air traffic management, that is, beyond 2010, SESAR (single European sky ATM research) hopefully will pave the way for how the ATM network copes with the doubling of traffic by 2020. Building on previous programs, SESAR will involve all the stakeholders and attempt to provide a global, coherent approach, whereby everyone will agree to changes and accept them. “In the past, we have experienced difficulties transitioning from agreed concepts to their implementation in the real world,” acknowledged Bernard Miaillier, head of Eurocontrol’s European ATM strategy and convergence division.
SESAR should represent a paradigm shift comparable to that triggered by the Internet and today’s communication technology. In the future, aircraft trajectories should be known and shared by all involved, whatever the technique used–be it 4-D trajectory or autonomous aircraft. With EGNOS and ILS 4-D approaches, it could even become possible to insert a business jet between two large aircraft, according to Dassault expert Serge Lebourg.
SESAR is to be developed by a joint undertaking (to be created at the end of next year modeled on the Galileo program) in three phases from 2007 to 2020. It is expected to produce a European ATM masterplan, which would include converging needs and initiatives to meet the growing traffic challenges. It would depart from the current fragmented approach, accelerate ATM evolution, synchronize and integrate plans (from research to operations), as well as the airborne/ground deployments of new systems. It also would take into account European needs in a global, interoperable perspective.
The SESAR masterplan is to be developed within the next 22 months and is expected to result in a work program for the period 2008-2013. Each program milestone–there are to be six of them in a two-year period–is to be followed by a workshop, giving to each stakeholder an additional opportunity to provide feedback and comments.
EBAA is directly involved in SESAR and participates in user group activities, with Dassault Aviation working on behalf of the association. Dessault is reported to be about to sign a contract to join the SESAR project. EBAA’s contribution will consist of deciding the performance requirements for the new ATM system. Dassault is also involved in other critical tasks as a subcontractor of the Alliance joint venture between Airbus, EADS, Thales ATM and Thales Avionics which acts as the project directorate of the program which is led by an industry-wide consortium.
“SESAR is essential and cannot be ignored,” stressed Lebourg. “We must participate to defend and promote bizav ideas and activities. Most of our ideas are complementary to those of the airlines for operations above 41,000 feet,” he noted. “It is important that in SESAR all business aviation representatives speak with one voice, expressing and hammering our needs and requirements,” the Dassault executive concluded.