December 2021

Our industry and partners

New SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking promises to be bigger, bolder, better

The new SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking (SESAR 3 JU) officially launched on 14th December in Brussels, marking a new chapter in modernising European air traffic management (ATM). Bringing together the EU, Eurocontrol, many European airports and more than 50 organisations covering the entire aviation value chain, this new European partnership will invest more than EUR 1.6 billion between now and 2030 to accelerate, through research and innovation, the delivery of an inclusive, resilient and sustainable Digital European Sky. Building on the achievements of its predecessor, the SESAR 3 JU describes its will drive an ambitious programme to make Europe’s aviation infrastructure fit for the digital age, while offering quick wins to contribute towards the sector’s net zero ambitions.  

Drawing upon a wide pool of multidisciplinary expertise spanning the length and breadth of Europe, the SESAR 3 JU will develop and deliver innovative solutions across nine flagship areas of research and innovation (R&I), accommodating a diverse array of air traffic, from air taxis and delivery drones to commercial airliners and military aircraft. The portfolio of R&I activities will be structured according to an innovation pipeline, composed of exploratory and industrial research, large scale demonstrators and a fast-track mechanism, to accelerate market uptake of the most promising and competitive solutions.

The new partnership will in particular seek to act as catalyst for speeding up the transition towards climate neutral aviation, focusing on solutions that can be implemented rapidly and that can bring environmental benefits in the short to medium term, ahead of a ramp-up in use of sustainable aviation fuels. It will also aim to introduce solutions that allow for a more flexible and resilient infrastructure that is capable of withstanding unpredictable shocks like COVID-19.

SESAR 3 JU Executive Director ad interim, Richard Frizon said: “The combination of the climate and COVID crises means that collaboration and the pooling of resources is more important than ever, since industry-wide challenges can only be overcome together. The new SESAR 3 JU offers the best means to coordinate efforts, bringing together the critical mass of resources, expertise and agile structure needed to deliver the Digital European Sky.”