Surveillance infrastructure optimisation support

We monitor and support the operation, evolution and sustainability of surveillance infrastructure in the European air traffic management (ATM) network.

Our objective is to improve network performance and ensure global interoperability using Mode S, multilateration, ground- and space-based automatic dependent surveillance - broadcast (ADS-B) and non-cooperative surveillance. Our aim is to optimise the use of surveillance data in Europe, enabling the performance needs with cost and spectrum efficiency.

We provide support for the implementation of EU Regulation 1207/2011 on Surveillance Performance and Interoperability Implementing Rule, SPI-IR in close cooperation with European Union (EU) institutions and all stakeholders involved.

Our contribution

We provide surveillance implementation support to stakeholders and so contribute to achieving the EUROCONTROL Network Manager’s performance objectives. In the context of this activity, we publish:

  • implementation monitoring reports;
  • guidance material;
  • specifications.

Our long-standing ADS-B activities address our stakeholders’ needs in a comprehensive end-to-end approach, including operational, technical and business among other aspects.

We report on surveillance equipage monitoring, such as the ADS-B airborne equipage evolution and the implementation progress monitoring on a periodic basis.

We support, in particular, the SESAR Deployment Manager in the preparation of the ADS-B Implementation Plan.

We cooperate with European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on various topics such as the production of guidance material for the EU Regulation 1207/2011 (SPI IR) and its amendments.

Furthermore, at EUROCONTROL, we co-lead and support performance based surveillance (PBS) in close cooperation with stakeholders, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the European Organisation for Civil Aviation Equipment (EUROCAE) and the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA).

PBS work delivers technology agnostic surveillance requirements for several applications, including current and reduced separation minima. The applications will cover a variety of operations and will be complemented by specifications, guidelines and assessments.

In this context, we deliver the European specification of surveillance system performance (ESASSP), which is used by the stakeholders for the demonstration of compliance of their surveillance. A new version of this document is currently being prepared and will be available for public consultation soon.

We produce specifications for the European Mode S specification (EMS). We also contribute to the standards for surveillance avionics, ADS-B ground stations, multilateration systems, independent non-cooperative surveillance etc. A new version of this document is also currently being prepared and will be available for public consultation soon.

We aim at maximising the use of surveillance (ground, airborne and space-based) including aircraft derived data, or downlinked aircraft parameters (ADD or DAP) in order to increase the benefits from the stakeholder investments. This is supported by the sharing of best practices by our stakeholders.

We support synergies, integration and the rationalisation of infrastructure in the surveillance domain as well as with other systems in order to achieve cost and spectrum efficiency, while supporting operational excellence. This includes a holistic, cross-domain, network perspective.


The cornerstones for network performance improvements are Mode S, or ADS-B airborne equipage combined with a cost and spectrum efficient ground (or space)-based surveillance infrastructure (optimal mix of sensors) key inputs to this activity are the results of monitoring 1030/1090 MHz radio frequency bands and surveillance avionics, as well as progressing the implementation of ground Surveillance products.

EUROCONTROL has been coordinating and supporting ADS-B development and implementation in Europe since its inception, in the context of the CASCADE programme and its follow-up activities. This continues and is currently being provided by our ADS-B activity.

Working arrangements

Our activity is guided by the Network Surveillance User Group (NSUR), which reports to the Surveillance Steering Group (SUR-SG).