[Avionics Today June 18, 2014] The Council of the European Union voted on regulation to extend the duration of the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) until 2024. Originally established in 2007, SESAR JU is the government-industry consortium responsible for managing implementation of the SESAR project throughout Europe.
Initially, the agreement was that the consortium would be funded through December 2016. The recently adopted extension will allow an extra four years to "close down ongoing projects" according to a statement released by the European Union.
Currently, the SESAR program is entering its deployment phase of 2014-2020. Measuring progress on the implementation of the ATM modernization project has been difficult to monitor, as officials have not clearly defined progress that has resulted in tangible airspace user benefits this far, instead choosing to focus more on future capabilities.
According to the latest SESAR 2020 fact sheet, the most notable program achievements by SESAR JU have been achieving "the world's first flight in four dimensions (3-D + time),” along with deploying “remote tower services” designed to provide more access to remote regions of Europe. The fact sheet also notes deployment of new “toolkits to increase safety on airport runways” along with “free routing to reduce flight and fuel emissions.”