SESAR Deployment Airport Grouping

SESAR Deployment Airport Grouping (SDAG) encourages regional airports to apply for EU funding to modernise their ATM infrastructure

Established in 2014, SESAR Deployment Airport Grouping (SDAG) is majority owned by ACI EUROPE. It secures the participation of the airport operators in the SESAR Deployment Manager, the EU-mandated industrial partnership tasked by the European Commission to plan and coordinate the synchronised modernisation of Europe’s Air Traffic Management (ATM) network to enhance safety and efficiency in Europe’s air transport system. Within this framework, SDAG is responsible not only for ensuring that airports implement enhancements that deliver performance improvement and make the necessary investment but also for safeguarding that technologies and procedures have proven benefit. SDAG is also committed to delivering coordinated deployment together with Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) and airlines to allow for rapid return on investment.

SDAG marked its presence, for the first time ever, at an ACI EUROPE event at the 10th Regional Airports’ Conference and Exhibition in Cork, with a dedicated stand. It was represented by Barbora Smolikova, SDAG Project Manager.

SDAG’s mission is to foster European airports’ modernisation in the field of Air Traffic Management (ATM). There is a single and unique roadmap, or flight path if you like, for adopting new technologies related to ATM. It is called the Deployment Programme and is basically a translation of a EU Implementing Regulation, called the Pilot Common Project (PCP), which stipulates the new technologies and procedures airports, commonly with ANSPs and airlines, have to implement by when. The PCP makes this mandatory for 25 major airports in Europe, but all the other airports can apply for funding as well.

As such, SDAG had a clear message for the regional airports present in Cork: there is a roadmap for modernising your ATM tasks AND you can receive European funding for it, up to 50% of the total investment.

Barbora Smolikova, SDAG Project Manager, representing SDAG at the 10th ACI EUROPE Regional Airports Conference & Exhibition on 15-17 May in Cork.

The financial instrument is called Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) funding1, which is the funding instrument that supports investments in building, developing or upgrading new transport infrastructure in Europe in order to materialise Europe’s transport infrastructure priorities. With this funding, airports can develop or rehabilitate their facilities and technology to optimise their operations and improve their performance. Barbora Smolikova says ‘’Regional airports can have the best of both worlds: they can follow the Deployment Programme and apply for funding, in order to modernise their procedures and technology, but they do not have the obligation to do so. We strongly believe that submitting projects will make sure your airport keeps up with the new technologies for ATM at airports’’.

The SDAG support ranges from the identification of possible projects, via preparation of the application for funding through the implementation of the project, until it is operation and the final reporting.

If you missed the SDAG stand in Cork, you can visit it at our General Assembly, Congress & Exhibition on 12-14 June in Paris or contact Barbora Smolikova (, tel. +32 471 759 854).

Modernising your ATM infrastructure? Benefit from SDAG support and enhance your efforts to receive EU funding for your airport!

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