Following significant efforts by the SESAR Deployment Airport Grouping (SDAG, part of ACI EUROPE), some 15 European airport operators secured a total of €60m from EU funding for Air Traffic Management (ATM) modernisation. Barbora Smolikova gives us the details.
Planning for the future is something that is a fundamental part of ensuring your airport has a strategy in place for dealing with growth, capacity constraints, efficiency challenges and of course technological trends and wider developments. Under the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) fund, a recent call for proposals dedicated specifically to Air Traffic Management (ATM) had reserved €400m, to support the mandatory investments that need to be made in the air transport sector (including airports), under SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research).
Within the call, there are two categories under which the applications could be submitted:
- Category 1: Common Projects, aimed at executing the IR 716/2014 for all operational stakeholders amongst them the 25 Airport Operators and this part is coordinated by SESAR Deployment Manager (SDM) (http://www.sesardeploymentmanager.eu/) and
- Category 2: Other Projects, which is open to all airport operators, as far as the projects proposed are part of the ATM Masterplan the SESAR Joint Undertaking has approved.
SDAG’s participation in the call yielded good results – in several ways. We are pleased to announce that 15 Airport Operators (all members of SDAG) were successful and therefore selected for co-funding for a total amount of €60m. This is 21.8% of the funding awarded for this recent call for proposals. It is an unprecedented success that proves that airport operators are now considered as full and equal partners in the CEF Calls.
In this regard, SDAG very much appreciated the support of Groupe AdP, who took on the role of lead partner, working hard to bring multiple stakeholders together within a single implementation project. A joint application ‘Enablers for Airport Surface Movement related to Safety Nets’, including 15 Operational Stakeholders (13 Airport Operators, 1 ANSP and 1 AU) and aiming at synchronised deployment of the A-SMGCS throughout Europe at the airports concerned, has been awarded some €52m in co-funding. The advantage of the multi-stakeholder project is that for the first time more than a dozen projects will be executed in a much more aligned, coordinated and synchronised way and, as such, bring a more stable framework allowing airport operators to comply with the obligations in the regulation, while at the same time supporting the SESAR Deployment Manager (SDM) in its task of timely and synchronised deployment of the SESAR Deployment Programme.
SDAG project lead and funding expert Barbora Smolikova concludes: “Looking back towards the previous calls SDAG has now an approved track record in supporting airport operators to comply to the regulation and in obtaining co-funding for their ATM modernisation projects. In October 2017 the next CEF Call will be launched, which again will include the priorities related to the airport operators. We would encourage airports to have a good look at your investment plans and review whether aspects of them may be suitable for CEF co-funding. SDAG will help you in assessing which possible projects might be successful when submitted.”
SDAG Managing Director Luc Laveyne adds: “The results reached by these airport operators demonstrate that they are a full and equal operational stakeholder in the ongoing ATM modernisation. The next phase of this modernisation with the development of a second common project has to confirm this position and content-wise, it is vital that airport operators be involved. We are ready to continue to invest to enhance both the passenger experience and safety of our customers.”
Want to know more?
The SESAR Deployment Airport Grouping (SDAG)’s mission is to foster European modernisation in Air Traffic Management (ATM). There is a single and unique roadmap for adopting new technologies related to ATM. It is called the Deployment Programme and is basically a translation of an 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.