The public-private partnership formed to manage the development phase of the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) initiative will be expanded to include airlines and additional industry members.
Earlier this month, the SESAR Joint Undertaking (JU), the organization founded by Eurocontrol and the European Commission to manage the development phase, signed contracts worth 1.9 billion euros with 15 industry partners, including Thales, Honeywell, air navigation service providers, airports, airframers and ground equipment suppliers. At a Paris Air Show briefing June 18, Patrick Ky, SESAR JU executive director, said that grouping will be expanded to include airlines, with contracts expected in July.
Ky would not disclose how many airlines responded to a tender issued by the JU, but said he expects to add a dozen airlines as members. In addition, the current grouping of 15 industrial partners will be expanded next year to about 20 to 25 members, Ky said.
The Paris briefing was hosted by Thales, which is participating in all 16 work packages and co-leading three packages in the areas of air-traffic control systems, System Wide Information Management (SWIM), and communications, navigation, surveillance technologies. The Thales share of 240 million euros, including 120 million euros in JU funding, makes it the largest contributor after Eurocontrol to the SESAR development phase. Thales is “the main industry player in the program,” said Pierre Fossier. “We are going to devote to SESAR a big portion of our R&D competency and funding.” -- Bill Carey