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Safety Assessments for Air Traffic Control

European Union
Complete with results
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Connected and automated transport (CAT)
Network and traffic management systems (NTM)
Transport mode
Airborne icon
Transport policies


Background & Policy context

New technological developments addressing the safety requirements of the European Air Traffic Management System (EATMS) are emerging that have to be assessed. The focus is on two major technological domains: Next Generation Satellite Systems (NGSS), and Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) technology and the related Airborne Separation Assurance System (ASAS) concept.

The selection of specific technologies for further in-depth research is inevitable with respect to the broad range of new solutions becoming available in the field of communications, navigation and surveillance. The chosen domains represent key enabling technologies that are considered to support several applications.


EMERTA aimed to establish the feasibility of using emerging NGSS services in their existing form to meet Air Traffic Service (ATS) and Airline Operation Centre (AOC) requirements. This included the definition of a European-level NGSS demonstration/validation project.

The main objectives of EMERTA were to:

  • support a European input to international standardisation activities in such forums as ICAO and RTCA/EUROCAE;
  • help specify requirements for a second generation of Low/Medium Earth Orbit (LEO/MEO) satellite systems and services, for deployment beyond the year 2005;
  • assess the feasibility of the early introduction, in the European ATM environment, of one or more selected ADS-B/ASAS applications, paying particular attention to safety and transition aspects;
  • develop initial ideas and guidelines on how to deploy ADS-B in Europe, in the context of the ASAS concept, in terms of the potential requirement for reserved airspace and how best to deal with a mixed aircraft population.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Commission; Directorate-General for Energy and Transport (DG TREN; formerly DG VII)
Type of funding
Public (EU)



  • assessed the use of current Satellite Communications (SATCOM) technology aboard some 2000 aircraft, mainly serving oceanic and remote routes;
  • found that NGSS has apparently failed to deliver improved and cheaper Aeronautical Mobile Satellite Services (AMSS) to aviation since its introduction in the mid 1990s;
  • discussed the impact of the recent demise of the Iridium satellite system on industry efforts to establish Aeronautical Mobile en-Route Satellite Services (AM[R]SS), which would meet the specific needs of civil aviation as endorsed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO);
  • proposed a new concept to the European Space Agency, building on the use of a set of geostationary satellites, to establish next generation AMSS that would serve high-density airspace areas, for which the construction of a technical demonstrator is underway;
  • forecast a European AM[R]SS market for commercial aviation of some 20 to 60 million Euro by the year 2008;
  • concluded that the implementation of Airborne Separation Assurance System (ASAS) applications is possible and beneficial in the short term with respect to the given data availability on board the majority of aircraft, once the remaining technical and institutional barriers have been overcome.

Policy implications

EMERTA has recommended further activities to encourage NGSS and ASAS applications in order to improve safety and capacity in air traffic management. These activities need to be integrated into RTD initiatives aimed at establishing an overall European Air Traffic Management System (EATMS).


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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