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European Commission’s SOS (Seminar on SESAR)

Eurocontrol has estimated that today’s air traffic will have doubled by 2020. Over the last decade air traffic has grown more than 50%, and Europe now has close to 8.5 million flights a year and up to 28,000 flights on busy days.

As these alarming figures will slowly become a reality, the EC has teamed up with Eurocontrol for the SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) initiative. SESAR was initiated in 2004 and parallels the same concept of United State’s NextGen plan. SESAR is primarily focused on flight safety, performance (punctuality), costs, and evaluation. As more CO2 is released into the atmosphere and the price of fuel rises, the need for a single European sky becomes evermore imperative.

The Definition phase was from 2004-2008 and was funded jointly by the European Commission and Eurocontrol. As this phase is wrapping up, a seminar was held to update all key players and to address new issues.

Some key individuals that attended this seminar includes: Peter Harman-President and CEO of KLM and chairman of AEA, Daniel Calleja- EC as Director DGTREN/F (Air Transport), David McMillan- Director General Eurocontrol, and Patrick Ky- Executive Director of SJU.

During the seminar, Peter Harman, President and CEO of KLM Airlines and chairman of the AEA address the issue of non-direct flights. He mentioned that yearly the simple Amsterdam-Lyon route means +400 hours of extra flight time and 1,8 MT of CO2 compared to the potential direct flight route.

Other issues that were discussed during the seminar included: An open SES to other countries such as Africa and Eastern European countries, transferring authority from ANSPs (Air Navigation Service Providers) to a European independent body, and also the need for an increase of performance monitoring for the management of airspace resources.

As the single European sky is a complex system in which a large number of independent elements show emergent behaviour, Innaxis is working to combine its knowledge of complexity science with the goals of SESAR. Innaxis is using a number of techniques- general analytic and simulation models for a statistical analysis of real data. There is optimism that these practices will be used in the evaluation of ATM performance.

Complexity Science