Innovation, research and simulation


EUROCONTROL Innovation Hub

We develop innovative solutions to shape a safe, efficient and sustainable future of European aviation.

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Innovation, research and simulation


As a founding member of the SESAR Joint Undertaking and in collaboration with air navigation service providers (ANSPs), airports, airspace users, industry, academia and research centres, we develop innovative solutions to support the continuous evolution of European aviation, ensuring the adoption of technological and operational advancements that maximise efficiency and sustainability.

About us
We bring

Faster uptake of digital solutions

Our innovation projects are designed to address end-user operational needs, developing digital solutions that can be rapidly adopted by the aviation community.

Cutting-edge technologies

We use the latest technological and scientific advancements to develop solutions for more efficient, sustainable and safe ATM systems.

Research closer to operations

By bringing our unique expertise and holistic view of the network into play, we accelerate the transition from promising concepts to proven operational solutions.

Concept validation

Our robust, high-performing and scalable validation infrastructure help us evaluate concepts and airspace redesigns via tailored and impartial simulations.

Sustainability in focus

We quantify aviation’s environmental impact to propose and validate mitigation measures using our unique performance modelling and aircraft behaviour tools.

Standardised solutions

We involve both civil and military stakeholders when developing solutions that contribute to the strengthening of the Single European Sky.

Collaborative approach

We encourage collaboration and promote synergies to ensure emerging domains such as drones and urban air mobility are developed in a balanced, inclusive and coordinated way.


At our Innovation Hub we work closely with end-users to develop digital solutions and services to fit their needs, running agile projects that follow a six-month innovation cycle. To solve aviation’s greatest challenges, we apply a unique mix of knowledge, experience, big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence. We prioritise the development of the most promising solutions, tackling the operational challenges that offer the most quantifiable benefits for stakeholders. This initiative brings agility into the SESAR programme and accelerates the market uptake of new solutions.

We contribute to ATM industrial and exploratory research with a special emphasis on the SESAR programme, aiming to accelerate the modernisation of the European air transport system and meet the Single European Sky (SES) goals. Our contribution to European research covers all project phases, from concept development to demonstrations, and focuses on domains that have a profound impact on sustainability, capacity, scalability and safety, such as:

  • Network Management;
  • Trajectory-based operations;
  • Dynamic airspace management;
  • Runway throughput;
  • Automation;
  • Virtualisation;
  • Safety nets;
  • U-space.

Our work as part of the general assembly and various working groups of the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE) helps to identify main research areas and define, monitor and update ACARE’s Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA).

Our Innovation Hub is a leading European simulation centre, offering unique and invaluable facilities and expertise to validate airspace redesigns needed as part of the Airspace Architecture Study, as well as new concepts developed by the SESAR programme.

We are able to validate existing and future air traffic management concepts, systems and airspace at any scale with simulations adapted to our stakeholders’ needs, providing the most relevant key performance indicators, including human factors.

Using our world-class simulation platforms and comprehensive suite of models and tools, we achieve highly accurate results, with an impressive ability to reproduce real-life scenarios that replicate any ATC system and conditions. The scenarios involve real air traffic controllers and other professionals such as airline pilots and flight dispatchers. Using the comprehensive data obtained from these simulations, we analyse key potential benefits to support our clients’ future decision-making.

We support States to introduce U-space concepts and validate U-space operations and procedures, while enabling the industry to develop commercial drone operations at scale. Our experts contribute to major U-space/UAM research projects, and help the resulting solutions be adopted into operations.

Our Brétigny Innovation Hub is developing a centre of excellence for drones and urban air mobility to be able to validate U-space services in a simulator environment. We are also working on an airspace assessment methodology which is currently being tested in several member states.

In partnership with the European Commission, EASA and the SESAR JU, we promote a harmonised European U-space approach and facilitate the sharing of lessons learnt via the European Network of U-space Demonstrators.

We work closely with EASA and ICAO to support the development of European and international regulations to integrate safely manned and unmanned air vehicles in the airspace and promote interoperability of a future U-space system at a global scale. We also cooperate with the European Defence Agency and NATO to ensure the safe integration of unmanned military flights across Europe.

Our projects

EUROCONTROL Innovation Hub Promote Event

EUROCONTROL Air Transport Innovation Network

Developing agile digital solutions and services to fit our stakeholders' needs.

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Digital network management services

A powerful distributed network management function for a flexible response to traffic demand & performance objectives.

Validation of air traffic management concepts through simulations

Real-time simulations to validate ATM concepts

Assisting you in testing and validating your cutting-edge solutions.

European UTM systems Concept of Operations (CORUS-XUAM)

European UTM systems Concept of Operations (CORUS-XUAM)

A project encompassing very large-scale Europe-wide urban air mobility demonstrations and CONOPS

Simulation and validation services

Have all your ATM concepts validated by neutral experts.

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At EUROCONTROL, we manage your data responsibly and do not provide it to third parties. We only use and process your data to answer your question and for quality control purposes. We apply our internal data protection rules, which are aligned with the General Data Protection Regulation, to all of our data-processing. Read our full privacy and data protection policy to learn more.

Latest highlights

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New call for operational challenges for our user-driven innovation projects

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EASA & EUROCONTROL sign MoC to enhance cooperation for the safe and sustainable future of European aviation