Airbus on board

Airbus has announced its membership into the SESAR Joint Undertaking as part of plans to create a European air traffic management system.

Airbus has announced its membership into the SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU) as part of plans to create a European air traffic management (ATM) system.

The SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) programme is a private-public partnership formed of 16 partners. The programme has a long-term goal of tripling air traffic capacity, halving the cost for airlines, increasing safety and reducing the environmental impact of every aircraft by 10 per cent by 2020.

Airbus’s role will be to lead the programme’s aircraft work package as well as contribute to all operational work packages. Using its expertise in aircraft integration, the company plans to define and develop future onboard ATM operations.

Patrick Gavin, executive vice-president of engineering at Airbus, said: ‘ATM is a limiting factor to the growth of air transport. The way air transport operations are presently conducted and the current systems will not allow the sustainable growth of air transport. Future systems will integrate the aircraft as an essential element of the collaborative operations. Modern ATM is also key in enhancing the eco-efficiency of aviation.’

The SESAR initiative will work up until 2016 to deliver 16 work packages and 295 projects. Funding for the SESAR programme currently amounts to €1.9bn (GBP1.6bn) over a seven-year period.