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Increasing Operational Capacity and Safety of the Air Transport System

Programme Type
Funding programme
European (European)
European Union
STRIA Roadmaps
Network and traffic management systems (NTM)


Background & Policy context

Research in this sub-programme is concerned with increasing operational capacity and safety of the air transport system to optimise airspace and airport utilisation, and consequently reduce flight delays, through a seamlessly integrated European air traffic management system, which would facilitate the achievement of the 'Single European-Sky' initiative.

Research focuses on on-board and ground automation aids, communication, navigation and surveillance systems as well as flight operation procedures that enable the introduction of new concepts including the free-flight concept in the future European ATM system.

Strategic Objectives

This sub-programme addresses the following objectives:

  1. to improve today’s safety levels taking into account projected traffic levels, by providing better information to both the pilot and the controller on surrounding traffic;
  2. to increase system capacity to safely handle three times more air movements by 2020 through an increased planning capability, coupled with a progressive distribution of tasks and responsibilities between the aircraft and the ground for separation to satisfy projected traffic growth;
  3. to improve system efficiency with a view to achieve an average maximum delay of one minute per flight;
  4. to maximise airport operating capacity in all weather conditions to support increasing traffic demand through improved systems to aid the controller and pilot.
Programme organisation

The strategically important areas (research domains) are:

New generation Air Traffic Management (ATM), which includes research into:

  • Co-operative Air Traffic Management
  • Advanced Airborne System Applications
  • Reduced Separation Standards

The Airport of the future, focusing on:

  • Airport Efficiency (AFF)
  • Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (A-SMGCS)
  • Technologies for Advanced Approach and Landing (TAL)

Innovative Research, encompassing the following topics:

  • Innovative Air Traffic Management Research
  • Co-ordination Action
  • Specific Support Action for the Single European Sky and ATM Master Plan
  • Air Transport System Wide Information Management
  • ATM Safety regulation and supervisory functions
  • Mitigating capacity constraints due to Wake vortex
  • Environmentally responsible air transport


Institution Type
Institution Name
European Commission
Type of funding
Public (EU)
Participating countries


European Commission

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