The 'Higher Airspace' region is located between the airspace normally used by aircraft and the beginning of space. 'Higher airspace' is no longer an exclusive transition zone, but an area where operations will be significantly expanded as a result of the emergence of a completey new aviation domain, business and technical opportunities and more, representing business values in the order billions per year. The anticipated operations in the 'Higher Airspace' represent an emerging market like for the early days of aviation where providing rules, including structural procedures regarding traffic and operations management, is now considered as the key enabler of this international healthy business of $900b/y which worldwide connect people and civilisations.
The ECHO (European Concept of Higher airspace Operations) Project will deliver a comprehensive demand analysis and a comprehensive, innovative and feasible Concept of Operations enabling near term and future 'Higher Airspace' operations in a safe and orderly manner.
The 'Higher Airspace' including the operators forms a new, almost legacy free environment enabling an expeditions uptake of innovations or, extrapolated SESAR solutions. In this way the Higher Airspace could become an incubator environment for future ATM.
The ECHO project deliverables will also be instrumental in developing a Global performance-based framework and will be the basis for the European Regulatory Framework. For this the project includes all the key European actors and includes extensive coordination and consultation activities, such as three large Thematic Workshops, to ensure wide European Stakeholder buy-in and alignment with evolving European policies.
The project will pave the way for the economic development of various commercial concepts that will only be possible by using the 'Higher Airspace' environment.