A consortium including Sabre Airline Solutions has won a major contract to research the future of air traffic management in Europe.
The Fly4D consortium, coordinated by aircraft manufacturer Airbus, was contracted by Eurocontrol on behalf of SESAR – a joint undertaking by the European Commission and Eurocontrol – to research the future of air traffic management in Europe.
The initiative – one of the most ambitious research and development projects ever launched by the European Union – aims to integrate all air traffic management and airport systems across the European continent into one, in order to make airport and airline operations more efficient and sustainable.
At present air space is managed by air traffic control centers in each country across Europe, giving rise to differing technology, systems, processes and procedures for managing air traffic across national boundaries. This infrastructure is aging and has reached its limits, making European air traffic management fragmented and inefficient.
An independent study of the SESAR project by international management consultants McKinsey finds numerous benefits, with the European Union economy seeing a €419 billion increase in GDP between 2013 and 2030, and the creation of 328,000 new jobs in the air transport sector.
The SESAR project is split into a number of different work packages, addressing various elements of air traffic management, such as airport and terminal operations, infrastructure, en-route traffic and many more.
Analysts predict a single European sky will mean 50 percent fewer flight cancellations and delays, in addition to a reduction of 50 million tons of carbon dioxide.
Hugh Jones, President of Sabre Airline Solutions, said: “The importance of the SESAR program cannot be underestimated, both in terms of the European Union’s future economic prosperity and the sustainability of the air transport industry.
“We understand the responsibility this project entails, and we are confident that our knowledge, experience and expertise will be crucial to the success of the project.”
Patrick Ky, Executive Director of the SESAR Joint Undertaking, said: “We are the first in the world to start to integrate ATM future concepts with airlines operations. This is truly a breakthrough in our sector of activity.”