Getting ready for space traffic management

Higher airspace operations and space traffic management were in the spotlight at the Future Skies Theatre.

Rocket flies through the clouds on moonlight 3d illustration

The session covered the second phase of the European Concept of Higher airspace Operations (ECHO2) project, which is running for three years (2023-2026) and includes multiple partners.

The aim is to provide an interface between conventional air traffic management (ATM) and higher airspace operations, including space traffic.

ECHO2 will include a module for monitoring space launches in Network Manager for increased situational awareness. There will also be procedural packages covering specific ground and air-ground issues, including the integration of supersonic, hypersonic and suborbital vehicle operations into ATM.

It was noted that the right coordination mechanisms between ATM and space traffic management are essential to future operations. ECHO2 will lead to validated solutions that support the further development of this exciting new sector.

It was also stressed that although this is a European initiative, space launches anywhere in the world are global events and are happening at an increasing rate. A second stage of a rocket can come back down to Earth half a world away and often the ANSPS affected are those with the least resources.

Moreover, because this is a fast-developing area and there will be new standards and services as technologies improve and traffic increases, it is vital to build the best possible foundation at the earliest opportunity and use that to inform decisions.

Applications open for the SESAR Young Scientist Award 2024

Are you a young scientist active in the field of air traffic management (ATM) and aviation? Are you looking for the perfect opportunity to showcase your talent and advance your career? If yes, then look no further… the SESAR Young Scientist Award is for you! 

The SESAR Young Scientist Award recognises young scientists, who have demonstrated excellence in ATM and aviation-related research fields. The award also provides researchers starting out in their career with an opportunity for further professional development. 

A further objective of the award is to showcase the potential of young talent to formulate fresh ideas and solutions to the challenges facing ATM and aviation. 

The 2024 edition of the award has widened its scope from previous years and is now open to two categories: 

  • PhD scientists; with the chance to receive a prize of EUR 10 000 
  • Undergraduate or Master students; with the chance to win a prize of EUR 5 000 

Contributions are welcome from citizens or residents in an EU Member State or an Associated Country to the Horizon Europe Research and Development Framework Programme (Horizon Europe). 

Up to three short-listed candidates for each category will be invited to join the SESAR Innovation Days 2024 from 11-15 November in Rome, where the winner of each category will be publicly announced during a dedicated ceremony. 


If you wish to apply for this Award, please 

Read the Contest Rules

Complete the application form and declaration of honour and send them to:

The deadline for applications is 21 August 2024 

Read about the 2023 SESAR Young Scientist Award winners 

More from the SESAR Young Scientist Award hall of fame 

Read about the 2023 SESAR Innovation Days 

How to prepare for a disruptive event

At a session on planning for the expected and unexpected at the Boeing Theatre, case studies on disruptive events showed how air navigation service providers (ANSPs) can improve the resiliency of their operations by planning ahead.

Although each crisis is different, there are some common themes that can be pulled out to help the industry as a whole.

Space launches are becoming commonplace in the United States, for example, with up to 180 expected in 2024. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has therefore become practised in handling them.

The FAA uses the information in the initial notification to evaluate the potential impact. If necessary, the date and time of a launch can be moved depending on the operational requirements. Once a launch date and time is agreed, a high-level airspace management plan is developed and disseminated so all relevant parties are aware of the disruption. The FAA coordinates the various activities and is also the tactical focal point on the day. Finally, it organises a post-event analysis and debrief to understand any lessons learned.

Meanwhile, Aerothai must deal with a regional major military exercise, known as COBRA GOLD. In 2023, this involved 27 nations and some 150 aircraft as well as ground and naval exercises.

Multi-stakeholder coordination spanning the strategic, pre-tactical and tactical phases is essential and last year resulted in four air traffic flow management solutions being deployed. Aerothai uses all available tools and procedures are constantly reviewed. Although this is an annual event, there can never be a cut and paste approach.

When Australia hosted the G20 summit in 2014, it had to deal with the arrival and departure of 27 Heads of Government. Moreover, the airspace above and surrounding the meeting had to be managed and watched extremely carefully. This meant the military was heavily involved and so two key positions were created – one civil, one military – that sat side by side to ensure seamless operations.

Finally, Japan Air Navigation Services shared the story of the 2011 Japanese earthquake that temporarily closed major airports, including Haneda and Narita in Tokyo.

Their key takeaway was the value of emergency exercises and being prepared for such an event. If an airspace or airport is prone to extreme events, these should never take an ANSP by surprise. The value of collaborative decision making and communication were also highlighted. It is essential to establish the relationships that will help an ANSP to maintain business continuity and enjoy a speedy recovery.

CANSO has published a document that covers these use cases and many more and extrapolates lessons learned and recommended practices.

EUR 26 Million Investment: SESAR JU unveils new projects for smarter air traffic management

The SESAR Joint Undertaking has selected 18 new exploratory research projects within the framework of its ambitious Digital European Sky research and innovation programme. The projects address a wide range of topics aimed at generating  innovative concepts, methodologies and technologies, all with a view to making air traffic management in Europe smarter and more sustainable. The projects represent a total investment of EUR 26 million by the aviation industry and the European Union through Horizon Europe.

The aim with the selected projects is to foster new and innovative ideas connected to EU policy to transform air traffic management in Europe, as well as encouraging coordinated exchange of knowledge and stimulating the future ATM skilled workforce. It is composed of two work areas, namely “ATM excellence science research and outreach” and “ATM application-oriented research”.

The call topics are part of the research and innovation priorities outlined in the SESAR 3 JU’s multi-annual work programme and in the more recently published bi-annual work programme. They cover a wide range of areas that are needed in order to deliver the Digital European Sky, according to the timeframe of the European ATM Master Plan.

The projects were selected as a result of a call for proposals launched in 2023 followed by a rigorous evaluation of the submitted proposals by independent experts. The official launch of the projects is subject to the completion of grant preparation in the coming weeks.

Read more here

Igniting passion for aviation

The Future Skies: Tomorrow’s Voices initiative had a huge impact on the final day of Airspace World. Across a breakfast and multiple sessions, some key points in the attraction and retention of young professionals were highlighted, some of which are not always considered.

A hybrid environment has pros and cons, for example. For the younger generation, it is seen as a positive, providing not only work-life flexibility but also the opportunity to speak up. The virtual environment can enable a confidence that is sometimes missing in the physical world with bigger, older voices dominating conversations.

But from the point of view of leadership however, a hybrid environment can make it difficult to create the right culture and to fully understand the needs of individuals, which are more apparent when working side-by-side in an office.

Another concept very rarely at the front of mind is reverse mentorship – where the younger generation share their insights and inspire leaders. The concept is attributed to Jack Welch, the famous former boss of General Electric. Essentially, young professionals are more attuned to the capabilities and promise of new technologies and procedures and have a stronger affiliation with future plans. The process could add tremendous value to an organisation, as could the impact of healthy equality and diversity policies. A CANSO/Firstfruits survey showed, for example, that gender imbalance is perceived as a health and wellbeing issue rather than pay, and 75 per cent agree that their organisation is an inclusive place to work.

The CANSO/Firstfruits survey highlighted five factors in attraction and retention:

  1. Support for health and wellbeing
  2. Inclusivity and diversity
  3. Meaningfulness of work
  4. Reliable and supportive people
  5. Total compensation

Cross-referencing the responses it was clear that, in terms of attraction, passion for the sector counts more than money. This will be a challenge for air traffic management (ATM), often termed “the invisible highway”. People walk through airports and fly on aircraft, but the orchestrator of air traffic connectivity, ATM, can go unnoticed.

The importance of diversity in recruitment rounded out the conversations. One tip is to focus on the strength of people as this will naturally lead to diversity. Different backgrounds have different abilities and so pursuing diversity will inevitably lead to a stronger organisation.

The aim should be to build young, diverse teams, get them to work together and then enjoy the positive results.

The CANSO Air Traffic Management Podcast spoke to two of today’s participants. You can listen to that interview here.

Relive the best of Airspace World 2024

As we enter the last hours of a great Airspace World 2024, here are a few more pictures to highlights the success of our event. You can see, and download to keep, all our pictures on the Airspace World 2024 Flickr.

CANSO and EUROAVIA partner to promote European cooperation through education, dialogue, and outreach

CANSO and EUROAVIA have signed a partnership at Airspace World 2024 aimed at attracting young professionals to the Air Traffic Management (ATM) industry.

The organisations agreed to collaborate in a number of areas including hosting joint workshops to educate young people about the ATM industry, facilitating networking opportunities, and creating internships and careers fairs.

“We are delighted that CANSO has signed an MOU with EUROAVIA – the European Association of Aerospace Students. This agreement strengthens our commitment to creating a pipeline of talent that will deliver our future skies” said Simon Hocquard, Director General, CANSO.

“We are thrilled to announce our partnership with CANSO at Airspace World 2024. This presents a unique opportunity for EUROAVIA to build a stronger relationship with the Air Traffic Management sector alongside CANSO, a key driver in the sector’s development,” added Leo Buchner, President, EUROAVIA.

Together, EUROAVIA and CANSO are starting by organising career fairs/industry days, joint workshops, seminars, or webinars with the aim of fostering knowledge exchange and professional development among the members of both parties.

Campbell Scientific’s 50 years of service to aviation

Since it’s conception 50 years ago in 1974 in Logan Utah, Campbell Scientific has been involved in the aviation industry. The company was founded by two brothers, Eric and Evan Campbell, who combined their experience and education to first develop the CA9 Path Averaging Laser Anemometer, which was made for use by the U.S. Army to study wing-tip vortices at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. Data from the CA9 confirmed that under common wind conditions, these spiraling air shafts—caused by aerodynamically clean, but heavy aircraft—would sporadically relocate in the center of the runway.

Campbell Scientific knows that aviation has become essential for the success of global business, worldwide transportation of goods, and exploration of our amazing planet. As airlines and airports continue to take advantage of technological advancements, air travel is becoming accessible to more people every day. Just as airports are using modern technologies to solve capacity, security, and baggage challenges, they must also consider modern technologies and solutions that will address their specific everyday weather needs for the safe arrival and departure of aircraft. Each airport has a unique set of weather, capacity, and safety challenges that must be met by a flexible and reliable solution that is sustainable and can grow with the airport for years to come.

To date, Campbell Scientific has worked with many airports worldwide to maintain safe skies and increase critical information flow to airport managers, pilots, and other essential personnel. One major project has been partnering with ASECNA, the Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar, which has the responsibility of managing an airspace 1.5 times the size of Europe. Their mission is to provide efficient and secure air navigation services for 17 African states. To achieve this, meteorological software is necessary to assess the current and future weather. It is installed throughout the international airports, ensuring continual safety within air services.

There are unique challenges that modern airports face, and Campbell Scientific is ready with flexible, compliant, and future-proof solutions to maximize your performance. Our NEO Modular Web platform offers the ideal Pilot MET briefing system. This software allows the most demanding airport meteorological services to manage OPMET data collection, facilitate AWOS visualization and overlays, produce aviation forecast cross sections and vertical profiles, all while maintaining the highest compliance with both the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The data acquired from the NEO software can automatically produce meteorological flight folders, as well as be stored online for immediate availability for pilots and airline companies.

Campbell Aero Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) and Runway Visual Range (RVR) solutions are designed to accommodate and adapt to a diverse set of needs. Campbell Aero AWOS and RVR solutions are proven to be rugged and reliable in the harshest of environments. Our flagship Campbell Aero software and AeroX Stream™200 hardware provide maximum flexibility to airport managers, air traffic controllers, weather observers, and maintenance personnel to ensure they are in control of their specific AWOS and RVR solutions. Managers can select their preferred sensing technologies, and users can customize their display layouts to improve efficiency and reduce near-term, subsequent project costs. Campbell Aero AWOS and RVR solutions are ICAO and WMO compliant and built to sustain a low total cost of ownership over time.

Campbell Scientific is proud to be exhibiting at Airspace World 2024. For more information on our aviation weather solutions, please come and visit our team at booth H39, or use the QR code to read more about how our suite of AWOS products can work for you.

Leeds Bradford Airport to deploy Altitude Angel’s Approval Services Platform

London, UK & Geneva, Switzerland:  On the third day of the Airspace World expo taking place in Geneva, Switzerland,Altitude Angel, the world’s most trusted UTM (Unified Traffic Management) technology provider, has announced Leeds Bradford Airport is to deploy its Approval Services platform which allows drone operators, and in the future eVTOL pilots, the ability to request and pay for operations within the airport’s airspace digitally and at the touch of a button.

Altitude Angel’s Approval Services platform, described on its launch by [then] Aviation Minister Baroness Vere, as ‘a key step to [the UK] achieving its ambitious outcomes we are setting through the Future of Flight Industry Group’, allows drone operators to submit flight plans, which take place in part wholly or in part, within an airport’s FRZ, quickly and securely, as well as facilitating any charges the airport have in place when a flight is approved.

On the deployment of Altitude Angel’s Approval Services platform at Leeds Bradford Airport, Jamie Babbin, Leeds Bradford Airport Operations Manager, said: “Surrounded by a number of towns, villages and industrial estates, the airport has been dealing with an increasing number of requests to fly within the FRZ from both commercial and recreational drone operators.

“The Approval Services platform allows us to receive all required information from the drone operator in an easy-to-use format, enabling us to quickly assess and decide whether we can allow the flight, or need to request an amendment to the flight plan before approving it.”

Chris Forster, Altitude Angel, Chief Operating Officer, added: “As a forward-thinking airport, Leeds Bradford Airport is laying the digital foundation stones for future airspace users. Whilst drone operators will be the first to benefit from this deployment, the use of the platform will scale as UAM services come on-line.”

Eve’s Urban Air Traffic Management Solutions

Eve is actively championing the development of solutions and concepts worldwide to support the evolution of a globally harmonized traffic management system for safely scaling Urban Air Mobility (UAM) operations. This work includes the publication of multiple Concepts of Operations (CONOPS) for Urban Air Traffic Management (Urban ATM), live trials simulating UAM operations using helicopters, and testing of Urban ATM technology.

The company’s past projects emphasize the importance of collaboration across industry and government, including initiatives involving Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) and regulatory authorities. Eve’s concept development work also includes vertiport developers, airports, operators, other OEMs and UAM ecosystem stakeholders. Ensuring those involved in traditional operations and new UAM operations is vital to the development of future ATM concepts.

The key completed projects that support the development of a holistic ecosystem and future global harmonization of Urban ATM are:

  • Urban Air Traffic Management Concept of Operations – Co-developed with Australia’s ANSP, Airservices Australia, this CONOPS was one of the first bodies of work to define the new services necessary to support the safe introduction and scaling of UAM operations. The CONOPS was further supported by real and fast-time simulations quantifying the constraints of the current ATM system and the efficiency, predictability, and capacity gained through the services in the CONOPS.
  • UK CAA Regulatory Sandbox Project UAM CONOPS – Eve led a consortium of organizations consisting of NATS, Heathrow and London City airports, Skyports, Atech, Vertical Aerospace, and Volocopter in the development of a UAM CONOPS focused on airspace integration as part of the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) Regulatory Sandbox initiative. This CONOPS focused on the regulatory challenges for introducing and safely scaling UAM operations using the London environment as a use case and the respective procedures and services that will be necessary to overcome them. The CONOPS underwent multiple iterations with intensive feedback cycles, including UK CAA subject matter experts, to produce a body of work that reflects a practical, incremental, and feasible approach to safely scaling UAM operations. This work supported the UK CAA’s own publication on the Key Considerations for Airspace Integration within a UAM Landscape.
  • In November 2023, Eve, in collaboration with global private aviation leader Flexjet, conducted an initial software simulation of Eve’s cutting-edge Urban ATM solution. The initiative validated and refined the software through user testing and feedback on its interface and industry value.  With London being one of the world’s foremost helicopter markets and a key focus for future eVTOL operations, the simulation took place over four days at Flexjet’s Tactical Control Centre at Farnborough Airport, UK, and saw Eve’s Urban ATM software shadowing live helicopter flights, performing the kind of services that will be essential to enabling future UAM operations. Flexjet operates a fleet of 11 helicopters in the UK, and its group of companies is one of Eve’s Urban ATM fleet operator customers. Leading UK helicopter operator Flexjet provided its helicopter fleet to perform flights, collaborating closely with Eve’s Urban ATM team. NATS, the UK’s leading provider of air traffic control services, and London Heliport supported the initiative by providing additional feedback to help ensure Eve’s solution will provide the greatest value to all UAM ecosystem participants.

In addition to the above projects led by Eve, several other CONOPS incorporating the Urban ATM concept have been published globally, such as the K-UAM Concept of Operations 1.0, published by UAM Team Korea, and the Concept of Operations for Advanced Air Mobility, published by the Japanese Public-Private Council for Air Mobility Revolution.

Eve is leveraging decades of experience developing trusted ATM systems that keep our skies safe today to bring this vision into reality. Our solutions will advance the Urban ATM concept, serving as a key enabler to the implementation and scalability of UAM through services for ANSPs, urban authorities, fleet operators, vertiport operators, and other UAM stakeholders.

From before take-off to after landing, the urban environment will count on the integrated systems, services and technologies being developed by Eve to enable a safe, efficient and predictable ecosystem to support eVTOL operations alongside many other airspace users. In the future, the advancement of infrastructure and regulation will rely on these network management services to enable uncrewed flights.

Eve’s Urban ATM solutions will address critical challenges for the launch of eVTOL operations, including:

  • Predictability of UAM aircraft flight operations
  • Managing delay and disruption due to events outside of the operator’s control
  • Stakeholder situational awareness
  • Guaranteed vertiport FATO & Stand availability and alternate management

In the past few days, we have been discussing the UAM operating environment, the Urban ATM concept and Eve’s solutions to address and support eVTOL operations.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit us to learn more and discuss these topics, visit us at the Atech stand F22. 

About the author: Rob Weaver is the Urban ATM Global Business Development Lead for Eve Air Mobility, the Embraer backed start-up dedicated to accelerating the global UAM ecosystem. He also leads Entry Into Service planning for Eve’s eVTOL aircraft in Australia.

Rob has worked with Embraer-X and Eve on new ATM concepts to support UAM since 2018. Previously he was Executive General Manager Safety, Environment & Assurance at Airservices Australia, where he was a member of the Executive for six years. He has also worked for the UK’s Air Navigation Service Provider and holds a PhD in safety critical systems from the University of York.