European Topics

SESAR – Single European Sky

The EU Single European Sky is an ambitious initiative launched by the European Commission with the objective to reform the architecture of the European Air Traffic Management sustainably. It aims at harmonizing the European transport policy and at establishing the basis for the future success of Europe in the global competition in aviation.

The main focus areas of the program are air traffic safety, an increase in efficiency, improved airport capacities, and the modernization of the European air transport infrastructure in general. Within the scope of SESAR (Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research) as a subproject of the Single European Sky, the innovative technologies, systems and procedures will be developed and deployed by 2024.

This will create the basis to be able to deal with the expected doubling of air traffic over the next 15 years in a manner that meets demand. In this context, SESAR stands for a new, holistic approach to air traffic that overcomes classic boundaries and creates synergetic effects from fair cooperation between all air transport stakeholders.

As a member of SEAC – the European Airports Consortium that manages the SESAR program – Fraport is actively involved in this trendsetting project, in which traffic growth, innovative strength and sustainability are brought into harmony with one another. As a member, Fraport pushes the ATM community to achieve the objectives of SESAR by 2020: To enable a threefold increase in capacity; to improve safety by a factor of 10; to reduce the environmental impact per flight by 10% ; and to cut ATM costs by 50 percent.

Within the framework of SESAR, Fraport – in cooperation with its partners in the SEAC consortium – is actively involved in the development and validation of pioneering solutions, in which traffic growth, innovative strength and sustainability are brought into harmony with one another. When implementing the SESAR objectives at Frankfurt Airport, Fraport closely cooperates with the air navigation service provider and the airlines to ensure that we can offer the best possible service and experience to our passengers also in the future.

SESAR Timeline

Definition Phase (2005 - 2008): The Definition Phase delivered the ATM Master Plan defining the content of the next generation of ATM systems as well as the development and deployment plans. This phase was led by Eurocontrol and co-funded by the European Commission under the Trans-European Network Transport (TEN-T) program. It was finally implemented by a large consortium of all air transport stakeholders.

Development Phase (2009 - 2016): Within the Development Phase new systems are developed with regard to operational concepts, procedures, and technologies in consensus with representatives of the entire aviation community. In this phase also the SESAR Joint Undertaking was founded with the objective of steering the implementation of the ATM Master Plan and the management of the Development Phase together with 16 members from the aviation industry. The available budget is 2.1 billion Euros. From 2016, activities under the SESAR 2020 program will be continued to ensure continuity in the further development of the European aviation industry.

Deployment Phase (2016 - 2020): The Deployment Phase will see the large-scale production and implementation of the new air traffic management infrastructure, composed of fully harmonized and interoperable components guaranteeing a high performance of air transport activities in Europe (under the administration of the SESAR Deployment Manager).


SESAR and the Environment

Environmental protection and, above all, reduction of CO2 emissions are important project objectives. With the development of eco-friendly procedures in the aviation industry sector and numerous other projects, an attempt is being made to attain a lasting reduction in the effects of air traffic on the environment. The registration and control of solid emissions are aimed to prevent environmentally-caused operational disruptions. SESAR reaches for clearly defined environmental objectives. These are primarily the reduction of CO2 emissions through optimization of air traffic management systems (a 10% reduction in CO2 emissions), the development of new environmental protection guidelines, the improvement of aircraft noise abatement, among other things through optimization of flight routes, steeper arrival and/or departure routes, and the enforcement of and compliance with local environmental guidelines (such as aircraft noise abatement guidelines or nighttime flight bans).


SEAC (SESAR European Airports Consortium)

In 2009, six major European airport operators (Aéroports de Paris, Heathrow Airport Ltd., Flughafen München GmbH, Fraport AG, Schiphol Nederland B.V., and Flughafen Zürich AG) formed the SEAC Consortium with the objective of collectively advancing the development of SESAR while taking into account the requirements of major European hub airports. The airports managed by the companies forming the consortium rank among the top ten airports in Europe. They can thus contribute substantially to the success of the SESAR project through their know-how and long-standing experience in airport management.


Benefits of SESAR

For passengers, the success of SESAR means the ability to plan trips more exactly and flexibly thanks to shorter waiting periods, lower prices, and more available flights.

SESAR – The Future of Flying

For Fraport, SESAR provides the platform to establish the point of view and requirements of Frankfurt Airport into a European program that may lead to future guidelines and rules on procedures and systems.
For the air traffic management (ATM) community, the success of SESAR means the establishment of uniform technologies, systems, and procedures in order to be able to make more efficient use of European airspace and more effectively integrate departures at the airports in the flight process.

Modernizing European Sky