Stakeholder event

European higher airspace operations symposium

Higher airspace or the area above FL 600 is becoming a new frontier for flight. The emergence of new airspace users and operations with highly connected and automated vehicles in this higher airspace and of new commercial and state space operations will create new business and social benefits. Those operations however bring also new challenges that will have to be addressed, in particular for the aviation sector and air traffic management (ATM).

To accommodate aviation growth and these new operations in or flying through the airspace, in a safe, orderly, environmental friendly and sustainable manner, the aviation system will need to evolve.

States and regions are currently facing the same or similar challenges in all parts of the world. During the recent ICAO 13th Air Navigation Conference the 192 States agreed to develop a performance based global framework enabling these operations.

In this context, there is a need to understand the emerging new technologies, their operational characteristics and requirements, their possible impact on existing regimes and potential interactions within the aviation system in order to identify the appropriate European framework conditions and concept of operations.

Therefore, the European Commission in cooperation with EUROCONTROL, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU), the European Defence Agency (EDA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) is organising the European Higher Airspace Operations Symposium.


The objective of this one-day event is to to better understand and raise awareness of these emerging developments and related needs. The conclusions will feed into the future definition of European Concept of Operations, which will serve as one of inputs for the global framework. The results will also help to identify the elements to support the European competitiveness and autonomous access to space in line with the 2016 Space Strategy for Europe.

The Symposium will bring together European and international organisations, industry, regulators, operational stakeholders.


Keynote speech

Philippe Merlo EUROCONTROL

Perspective on higher airspace operations

Michel Praet ESA


Denis Lebleu Thales Alenia Space

Airbus Zephyr high altitude long endurance RPAS

Andrew Tailby Airbus

Private suborbital human space flight and rocket rpopulsion systems for spaceplanes

Jean-Philippe Dutheil Airbus

Operational overview

Rob Eagles Google

Zero 2 Infinity, in near space since 2009

José Mariano López Urdiales Zero2Infinity

DANEO prompt informer

Marc Vales Dassault Aviation

ICAO update

Yuri Fattah ICAO

Enabling European higher airspace operations

Steven Higgins EASA

Network integration

Dragos Tonea EUROCONTROL Network Manager

Higher airspace operations – SESAR perspective

Robin Garrity SESAR Joint Undertaking

Perspectives on higher airspace operations

Sven Kaltenhaeuser DLR

The Italian approach to commercial suborbital transportation

Alessandro Cardi ENAC

Operations above FL600 French perspective

Pascal Senard Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile, France

The air defence mission over French national airspace

Colonel Arnaud Brunetta Armée de l’air, France

Higher airspace operations - the perspective of the ANSPs

Manuel Molina ENAIRE

Symposium conclusions