The technological cornerstone of the Single European Sky

The harmonisation of air traffic management on a European level that was initiated by the Single European Sky (SES) legislation, can only be accomplished by co-ordinating the developments of the new ATM technologies and systems. That is the objective of the programme called SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research).

The SESAR programme is the technological cornerstone of the Single European Sky. It is an ambitious programme that took off in 2004 with the aim of essentially transforming European air traffic, making it safer, more effective and reducing its environmental impact through the modernisation and standardisation of European ATM systems. SESAR clearly crystallizes the need for cooperation in order to obtain comprehensive results.

SESAR Definition Phase

The SESAR programme consists of several steps. The first phase of SESAR, the definition phase, was concluded in 2008 and resulted in six deliverables including the first European ATM Master Plan that was approved by the European Council on March 30th 2009.


SESAR Development Phase


Another outcome was the Work Programme identifying all required developments. Considering the scope of this programme, Eurocontrol and the European Union created the SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU) in 2007 to manage the development phase of the SESAR project that started in 2008 and was originally planned to continue until 2013, but was extended to 2016. In that timeframe, the European ATM MasterPlan was revised and updated in 2012 and 2015.

The results from the SESAR1 development phase have been bundled in the SESAR solutions catalogue, with more details available on the SESAR JU website.

Belgocontrol has contributed to several activities in SESAR1 as an Associate Member via DSNA and via a consortium led by EUMETNET EIG.



Because all envisaged activities had not yet been concluded and because new required developments had been identified, it was decided by the European Union in 2015 to let the SESAR JU continue in developing new solutions via the SESAR2020 Programme.  

Belgocontrol is contributing to SESAR2020 via the VISTA project.

SESAR Deployment phase

The third and last phase of SESAR is the deployment phase (2014-2020) which consists of the industrialisation and implementation of new systems and technologies for air traffic management. During this phase of deployment, common projects will be implemented. They involve air navigation service providers implementing certain functionalities considered essential in the SESAR program and which must be deployed in a harmonised way. A first series of common projects, under the name of Pilot Common Project (PCP) was imposed by the European Commission in 2014.

The European Commission has also designated a manager for the deployment of SESAR (SESAR Deployment Manager - SDM) and activated a financing mechanism based on subsidies. They are attributed through the assessment of project proposals submitted to the European INEA (Innovation & Network Executive Agency) via the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Programme. Calls for proposals were launched in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

As a result of the 2014 call, Belgocontrol was awarded with European funding for six projects. Via the 2015 call, a seventh project was awarded.

Projects Scope of application
Implementation of RNP Approaches with Vertical Guidance at Brussels Airport (EBBR) Development and implementation of precision approach procedures for Brussels Airport.
MPLS WAN Project Implementation of an operative network based on IP for all Belgocontrol sites.
Initial WXXM Implementation on Belgocontrol systems Implementation of a new method for the exchange of weather data.
Enhancement of Airport Safety Nets for Brussels Airport (EBBR) Implementation of safety nets in the AMS to prevent incursions onto the runways.
LARA integration into CANAC2 Integration into the Eurocat system of the LARA system for the civil and military management of airspace.
Implementation of RNP Approaches with Vertical Guidance at the Belgian civil aerodromes outside the Brussels TMA Development and implementation of precision approach procedures for regional airports (Ostend, Li├Ęge and Charleroi).
NewPENS stakeholders contribution for the procurement and deployment of NewPENS Implementation of the network for the deployment of the System Wide Information Management (SWIM).


Belgocontrol SESAR Coordination

In order to systematically coordinate all activities connected with the SESAR programme, Belgocontrol has created an internal SESAR Coordination Group (SCG), under the supervision of the DG International & Public Affairs (DGI). Besides dealing with the introduction of deployment project proposals and financing agreements, it also monitors all activities of the SESAR Deployment Programme through its contribution to the SESAR Consultation Platform and in specific working groups established within CANSO, FABEC and EUMETNET.

More info about SESAR

SESAR Deployment & INEA CEF funding:

SESAR R&D & H2020 funding:

SESAR General:

Annual report 2017  
Video: The future - A three-pronged growth strategy  
FAB Europe Central   (0.72 Mb)
FABEC: Facts and Figures   (0.57 Mb)
FABEC newsletter - February 2014