SESAR – The Single European Sky

New generation air traffic management system for the digital EU sky

09. 01. 2023.

A goal of the European Union is to get anywhere in between the EU borders within 4 hours − door to door (D2D): this is the Single European Sky initiative. With this establishment, air transport can be more environmentally friendly and efficient, and the time spent on travelling will also be significantly reduced.


However, the implementation of these includes many professional challenges: it requires solutions for logistical and IT issues, the modernization of existing equipments, and the use and application of new types of passenger transport equipments. This project is implemented through continuous improvements and various operative programs, and due to its complexity, its full operation can be dated to 2050-55.


In addition to the connection of the UTM system and eATM mentioned in our previous articles, new standards are expected in the field of identification, positioning and communication. The biggest challenge in air transport might be the introduction of passenger transport by the autonomous eVTOL (electric autonomous aircraft capable of taking-off and landing from parking position, also suitable for passenger transport) device. This activity, with all its new challenges, must be coordinated with the already existing infrastructure, as well as with all newly emerging, autonomous unmanned devices.


At a conceptual level, UAM (Urban Air Mobility) is an already existing concept, as part of which the urban aerial relocation with eVTOL can be realized.


The main task of the Digital European Sky under the SESAR Joint Undertaking is to digitise and automate flights in order to scale capacity. The first step is the creation of the U-Space, which currently contains four different service packages (U1, U2, U3, and U4). The definition of U1-U3, currently subdivided into 31 competences and technology groups, allows the definition of the system and its state of maturity. Examples of key points include the issue of dynamic airspace management, the provision of weather services, and the display of real-time drone positions. In the case of U4, even greater changes and additions are expected, moreover U1-U3 may also be modified with technological points.


The services are being developed by the EU, EASA and Member States in different funding frameworks, based on a variety of ideas, with the aim that the common future standards could achieve the best, most efficient aviation innovation.


Requirements for technology and Member States’ progresses are trackable on this page. These points and changes are worth monitoring because they define the foundations of future aviation.

Author of the article: Benjamin Holló, UAS/UTM expert of eNET Internet Research and Consulting Ltd.