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A new year of aviation innovation

Aviation innovation

EUROCONTROL’s Innovation Hub looks back on what was delivered in 2022 and what is planned for 2023

Through the EUROCONTROL Air Transport Innovation Network, the EUROCONTROL Innovation Hub’s network for developing agile digital solutions and services that fit our stakeholders' needs, 2023 looks set to see a wide range of new user-driven innovation projects.

In 2023 a new wave of projects will be launched to meet real operational stakeholder challenges, as well as ongoing work on innovation projects from previous years as the EIH team and stakeholders perform live, shadow-mode and operational trials of prototypes created in previous cycles.

Also planned is a new edition of the Innovation MeetUp, the event started last year for sharing experiences and identifying synergies and new partnerships among actors from the European air transport innovation ecosystem. And to foster our connection with academia, we will launch the second edition of the innovation competition for universities.

As part of our research work, we will be playing a key role in various SESAR 3 projects which will commence in the second part of the year. In addition, we are participating in Digital Sky Demonstrator activities together with a large number of European partners, leading U-ELCOME (the U-space European Common Deployment project), and contributing to the BURDI (BeNe U-space Reference Design Implementation) and HERON (Highly Efficient Green Operations) projects.

In 2023, we will work on our simulator modernisation programme to benefit from synergies with the development of the iNM (integrated Network Management) Digital Platform, enabling us to meet future service demand and keep up with new research concepts that will need to be validated.

And on the drone side, we are supporting States in performing airspace risk assessments for the introduction of U-space. In 2022, we assisted Estonia, Israel, Portugal, Lithuania and Denmark – and early in 2023 we will start to support Spain. Following successful workshops addressing the requirements of the U-space regulatory package provided to Türkiye in 2022, a new series will begin in 2023 for Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Montenegro, Serbia and others.

In addition, we are very excited about setting up our Drone Centre of Excellence. This will host the operations of the Parisian drone test corridor scheduled to open in 2023 in preparation for the Paris Olympic Games, and will become a foundation for us to support Member States in similar local/national initiatives. The Centre will also host a UTM (Uncrewed Traffic Management) simulator we are developing in partnership with Airbus.

For a flavour of 2022’s successful innovation projects and programmes, play our video summary.

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