Common stakeholder view achieved on the European ATM Master Plan

On Friday 20 September 2019 senior aviation stakeholders gathered at EUROCONTROL and agreed a common position on the updated 4th edition of the European ATM Master Plan, the key roadmap designed to connect ATM R&D activities with deployment scenarios, and thereby to achieve the performance objectives of the Single European Sky.

The event was part of the broad consultation process undertaken by the SJU on the latest edition of the European ATM Master Plan. The common ATM stakeholder view will now go in the form of a ‘EUROCONTROL Position Paper’ to EUROCONTROL’s Provisional Council in November for approval, enabling Eamonn Brennan, EUROCONTROL Director General, to convey this position on behalf of the whole EUROCONTROL Organisation to the SJU Administrative Board in December.

The European ATM Master Plan is a central document for all actors: the SESAR Joint Undertaking, the European Commission, EUROCONTROL and aviation in general”, Philippe Merlo, EUROCONTROL Director European Civil-Military Aviation, emphasised, underlining that EUROCONTROL plays a key role in “keeping all members on board including those who are not part of an EU Member State, in a document whose value is acknowledged worldwide”.

In her welcome address, Christine Berg, DG MOVE Head of Single European Sky Unit, highlighted that “what is important for the Commission is that all actors have come together and agree on the fact that we need a reform of the ATM System”, and voiced her appreciation that this Master Plan “aims to unlock the twin challenges of digitalisation and decarbonisation“.

In turn, Florian Guillermet, SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU) Executive Director, emphasised the need of adaptability and agility in a sector where moving from research to deployment was a long process. In addition, he praised the large, inclusive team that had developed this Master Plan, and noted that in line with the digitalisation of the European Sky, “this latest edition of the Master Plan provides the first automation roadmap that combines cockpit and ground technologies.

Guillermet - Berg - Merlo

Participants praised the draft 2019 Master Plan, which, beyond the twin challenges of digitalisation and decarbonisation, aims to tackle one of the most pressing issues for ATM – namely the scalability and adaptability of the ATM system. It needs to be flexible enough to adapt to varying capacity needs including new entrants such as drones, while keeping safety as the priority, and bridging the gap between research and deployment through faster industrialisation.

The new Master Plan main theme supports the digitalisation of the European Sky. It also encompasses the outcomes of the Airspace Architecture Study integrating the notions of scalability, the need to reduce the ‘time to market’ from Development to Deployment, and the Roadmap for the safe integration of Drones in all classes of airspace to make it an even stronger reference for the future of ATM in Europe. It provides a high-level strategic view with a new top-down structure of the Essential Operational Changes needed, providing a framework for the future identification of ATM improvements requiring incentivisation or support.

In the European ATM Master Plan process, EUROCONTROL plays a key role, leading the Master Plan campaign in support of the SJU as part of SESAR 2020 Project 20 AMPLE (Master Plan Maintenance).

ATM Master Plan maintenance

Ensuring the maintenance, updating and alignment of the three levels of the European ATM Master Plan.