Research (SESAR)

Environmental activities within the SESAR work programme

In Phase 1 of the SESAR Research and Innovative programme, environmental aspects have been addressed transversally under two types of projects: environmental research projects (16.03.X) and a support and coordination project (16.06.03).

The four environmental research projects were:

  • Project 16.03.01 dealing with the development of the Environment validation framework (Models and Tools);
  • Project 16.03.02 dealing with the development of environmental metrics;
  • Project 16.03.03 dealing with the development of a framework to establish interdependencies and trade-offs with other performance areas;
  • Project 16.03.07 dealing with future regulatory scenarios and risks.

In the SESAR work programme, we are responsible for managing four of the five environmental projects for the Transversal Areas work package - WP16 (16.03.01, 16.03.02, 16.03.07 and 16.06.03). Project 16.03.03 was managed by NATS with EUROCONTROL’s financial support.


Project 16.03.01

The IMPACT tool was developed in the context of Project 16.03.01. This tool allows SESAR primary projects to assess fuel efficiency, aircraft emissions and noise at the same time, using a web-based platform and the same aircraft performance assumptions.  IMPACT successfully passed the Committee on Aviation Protection’s Modelling and Database group’s validation and verification process.

Project 16.06.03 also facilitated the continuous development/maintenance of other tools for aircraft greenhouse gas assessment (AEM), and local air quality issues (Open-ALAQS). It should be noted that these tools were developed for SESAR’s research and future deployment phase.


Project 16.03.02

Project 16.03.02 saw a set of metrics for assessing greenhouse gas emissions, noise and airport local air quality prepared. The metrics identified by Project 16.03.02 and not subject to specific IPRs (Intellectual Property Rights) will gradually be incorporated into IMPACT.


Project 16.03.03

Project 16.03.03 produced a comprehensive analysis of the issues related to environmental interdependencies and trade-offs.


Project 16.03.07

Finally, Project 16.03.07 saw a review of current environmental regulatory measures applicable to ATM and SESAR deployment. It also produced an analysis of environmental regulatory and physical risk scenarios, in the form of user guidance. It identifies those Operation Focus Areas (OFA) and Key Performance Areas which are vulnerable to these risks and singles out those OFAs which can help mitigate them. A gap analysis identifying knowledge gaps or uncertainties which require further monitoring, research or analysis was also carried out.

In order to optimise resources and expedite the completion of delayed tasks, it was decided, at the end of 2013, to merge these four environmental research projects into Project 16.06.03 rather than closing them.


Project 16.06.03

Therefore, the only ongoing environmental project in Phase 1 of the SESAR Research and Innovative programme is Project 16.06.03. This project saw the coordination and facilitation of all the environmental research projects (16.03.X) activities. It also helped the SESAR Primary Projects and the SESAR Demonstration projects by including material produced by the research projects.

In particular, this project delivered an Environment Impact Assessment methodology which gives guidance on:

  • how to conduct an assessment;
  • which metrics to use;
  • dos and don’ts for each type of validation exercise, with specific emphasis on flight trials.


If you need more information about environment activities in SESAR, please send an email with “ENVIRONMENT” in the subject header.

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Environment activities in SESAR