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European Personal Air Transportation System STUDY

European Union
Geo-spatial type
Network corridors
Total project cost
€279 950
EU Contribution
€279 950
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Network and traffic management systems (NTM)
Transport mode
Airborne icon
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Call for proposal
Link to CORDIS
Background & Policy context

The EPATS (European Personal Air Transportation System) focused on the future Highly Customer Oriented and Time, and Cost Efficient Air Transport System. It set out to fill a niche between Surface and Scheduled Air Transport.

Future mobility cannot be satisfied only through investments in hub and spoke, or rail - and highway systems. This future EPATS system set out to provide a wide choice of transportation mode - and the wider use of small aircraft, served by small airports, to create access to more communities in less time.


The goal of EPATS was to demonstrate the needs and potential of small aircraft business development and to propose recommendations for the introduction of this new European Air Transportation System in the context of the European Research Areas.

The EPATS study addressed the following issues:

  • The potential new market for personal aviation up to 2020.
  • The potential impact of this new way of transport on the European ATM, and airport infrastructures, as well as the environmental, safety and security issues involved.
  • The EPATS general specification and R&D Roadmap.

The studies were carried out by a Consortium supported by representative experts of the EPATS stakeholder community.


The SSA EPATS STUDY project consisted of 6 Work Packages, and 19 deliverables. Some deliverables consisted of 'sub-deliverables'. Apart from the project management (WP6), the project was structured in the following WPs:

  • WP1 - European Business & Personal Aviation Data Base;
  • WP2 - Market potential of personal aviation;
  • WP3 - Impact on European ATM, Airport Infrastructure and General Requirements;
  • WP4 - Missions Specifications for EPATS Aircrafts;
  • WP5 - Recommendations for Framework Program and Roadmap.

The deliverables of the studies were rapports containing a joint vision of the personal air transportation system in Europe to 2020 and proposals for developing this new small aircraft business at a European level. The EPATS SSA proposal fit in the framework of FP6-2002-Aero-2 'Thematic cal l in the area of Aeronautics Specific Support Actions', especially: 'Developing an EU research strategy in the sector' and 'Promoting SME participation'.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Commission
Type of funding
Public (EU)


Results and achievements by WPs:

  • WP1

    • A literature and European and US GA databases review was done. Databases contents published on the Web by various aviation institutions, offices and statistical centres were analysed (Eurostat, Eurocontrol, FAA and others).
    • All available information on European airports and air fields was searched and analysed in terms of availability and possibility of use in EPATS system
    • Based on the available sources personal and business aircraft characteristics comparison was done, out of which, a reference group was selected for EPATS.
    • Basic characteristics of all existing airports and airfields in respective countries were prepared. The characteristics were analysed in terms of use in EPATS system.
    • A comparison analysis of information sources on General Aviation in Europe and the United States, in terms of data gathering methods and their analysing, as well as capacity and fleet structure and usage indicators.
    • The conclusions and suggestions on European General Aviation aircraft and airports monitoring mechanisms improvement were presented.
    • The need for Central Survey and General Aviation Statistics Office, especially for EPATS, was suggested.
    • The document 'D1.1 Report on European Business& Personal Aviation Data Base and Findings' was completed.
  • WP2
    • Efficiency definitions used in air transport were verified and a New definition assumed for EPATS efficiency analysis was presented.
    • The Generalised Cost of travel Minimisation method based on international mobility development for EPATS aircraft demand forecasting was justified.
    • The results of so far long distance mobility analysis in the framework of European Programmes and their fitness for high speed interregional transport development were evaluated.
    • Continuing further research on interregional mobility in EPSON 2013 program framework with adjusting objectives and scope of the analysis to EPATS planning needs was suggested: creating a full image of passenger flows.
    • A simplified optimal transport mode choice model based on Generalised Travel Costs Minimisation was created. The Generalised Costs model was assumed based on out of pocket costs and indirect costs that are the result of costs generated during the travel.
    • The volume of interregional flow was assumed for several different scenarios. The ESPON Programme data were used as a

      Technical Implications

      It is expected that the EPATS results will encourage both new business models in Europe and new products.

      The new business models that may emerge from EPATS could be focused on a wide spread European air taxi business with a new operational concept. Already new businesses are being established like the new company that bought 120 Eclipse aircraft to start air taxi operations in Turkey. That company will build these aircraft in Russia.

      These new business models are also mentioned in the Addendum to the SRA2 of ACARE which was prepared by the ACARE strategy group. One possible model is to operate air taxis in the same way as road taxis. Air taxi operations could be monitored via central or regional centres that could act as brokers for the operators, as is already a practice with business jet operations.

      It is expected that the EPATS report will stimulate the manufacturing industry in Europe to develop new generations of GA aircraft that will satisfy the needs identified in the EPATS report. The technologies for these aircraft could be acquired via participation in the EU Framework program. Novel configurations of GA aircraft may be developed that can compete with the next generation of GA aircraft in the US. There is a potential for a large market of GA aircraft that could be filled by European products.


Lead Organisation
Instytut Lotnictwa
Krakowska 110/114, 02 256 Warszawa, Poland
Organisation website
Partner Organisations
The European Organisation For The Safety And Air Navigation
Rue de la Fuse 96, BRUSSELS, Belgium
Organisation website


Technology Theme
Information systems
Transport research and innovation strategies
Development phase

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