Europe believes that there is a historic opportunity to integrate and harmonise Europes SESAR (the Single European Sky ATM Research Programme) and the US NextGen.
The call for a stronger cooperation came at the recent ICAO Forum held in Montreal from 8-10 September. The two programmes address the urgent need to modernise two of the worlds busiest air traffic control systems. The Forum agreed that it is crucial to initiate a process for sharing developments in the SESAR and NextGen systems, identifying both commonalities and differences between the systems and highlighting how the harmonisation and interoperability efforts will benefit the global community. This process should be opened to other countries and regions of the world. SESAR is a truly new approach to ATM modernisation, providing guidance and leadership to all ATM-related activities in Europe with a view to achieving global interoperability. It will be developed within ICAOs Operational Concept so that it becomes a true vector for global standardisation, said Daniel Calleja, Director Air Transport of the European Commission at the Forum. This Forum will help us progress together as a global community in developing a global air traffic management system for the future, said Mr David McMillan, Director General of EUROCONTROL. In Europe, EUROCONTROL, the European Commission and the SESAR Joint Undertaking, together with the other European air transport partners, all have a common goal. And we are working together with the United States to ensure that our work is compatible. But air transport is a global industry and we call on ICAO to ensure that implementation in all its regions is supported. Patrick Ky, the Executive Director of the SESAR Joint Undertaking, highlighted: International cooperation is a top priority for SESAR and the SESAR Joint Undertaking, as the managing entity of the Programmes development phase, is committed to doing all that is necessary in order to coordinate with other regions by bringing together public and private resources across the EU and in third countries. SESAR is a performance-driven programme designed to ensure sustainable air transport system development in Europe. By 2020, the aim is to bring about a threefold increase in capacity, to improve safety by a factor of 10 and to reduce by 10% the environmental impact per flight and cut ATM-related costs by 50%. SESAR is being managed, during its development phase, by a single entity, the SESAR Joint Undertaking established by the European Union Council. The European Union, represented by the European Commission, and EUROCONTROL are the two founding members of this entity. The European Union offers the legal and institutional framework, while EUROCONTROL provides the best possible ATM expertise and experience and coordinates the implementation of the Programme.