Collaboration from the start

SESAR Deployment Manager continues to deliver technological solutions designed to increase efficiencies in cost, performance and sustainability.

These solutions fall under the Common Project 1 (CP1) regulation that came into force in February 2021. SESAR Deployment Manager broke down the regulation into a new SESAR Deployment Programme, producing a concrete manual guiding operational stakeholders on what has to be done, where, how and when, with the aim of accelerating the digitisation of European ATM towards greener skies.

Mariagrazia La Piscopia, Executive Director, SESAR Deployment Manager, says that as of early March 2023 six of the 20 CP1 sub-ATM functionality initiatives that had a  December 2022 deadline are at  85% completion. Within the few next months, that will reach 95%. “We are demonstrating a practical impact on the industry and have enabled significant cost, time and emissions savings,” she says.

Total investment in CP1 stands at more than €2.7 billion, €1.4 billion of which has come from industry investment, the remainder from grants. The projects completed to date will have cumulated savings of more than 1 million tons of fuel by 2030.

The point, says La Piscopia, is that SESAR deployment is a reality and the work done together with operational stakeholders is having an effect. Even those CP1 projects that have not yet started have clear roadmaps for implementation.

“This has been achieved despite the pandemic and the Ukraine war, which has affected the availability of some components,” she says. “We have been helping the industry to make savings and become more resilient and we will continue to help.”

Going forward, a major focus will be on system-wide information management (SWIM) and trajectory-based operations. La Piscopia calls these projects “game-changers” but accepts they will be a challenge to implement.

“The key is to involve all the key stakeholders as one big team – including the military, Network Manager, EUROCAE, EASA, and SESAR Joint Undertaking – from the start, and we are doing that,” she says. “We need to reinforce these partnerships and ensure the projects are synchronised so that airlines, airports and air navigation service providers in Europe are ready to go at the same time.”

Air-to-ground connectivity will be equally vital. “It is the bedrock of every project,” says La Piscopia. “If I could do one thing tomorrow, it would be to fully and operationally implement datalink. Not only is it an enabler but it would show that we are one industry with one set of data.”