European Higher Airspace Operations Symposium

2 April 2019

Higher airspace or the area above FL 600 is becoming a new frontier for flight. The emergence of new airspace users and operations with highly connected and automated vehicles in this higher airspace and of new commercial and state space operations will create new business and social benefits. Those operations however bring also new challenges that will have to be addressed, in particular for the aviation sector and air traffic management (ATM).

To accommodate aviation growth and these new operations in or flying through the airspace, in a safe, orderly, environmental friendly and sustainable manner, the aviation system will need to evolve.

States and regions are currently facing the same or similar challenges in all parts of the world. During the recent ICAO 13th Air Navigation Conference the 192 States agreed to develop a performance based global framework enabling these operations.

In this context,, there is a need to understand the emerging new technologies, their operational characteristics and requirements, their possible impact on existing regimes and potential interactions within the aviation system in order to identify the appropriate European framework conditions and concept of operations.

Therefore, the European Commission in cooperation with EUROCONTROL, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU), the European Defence Agency (EDA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) is organising the European Higher Airspace Operations Symposium.


The objective of this one-day event is to to better understand and raise awareness of these emerging developments and related needs. The conclusions will feed into the future definition of European Concept of Operations, which will serve as one of inputs for the global framework. The results will also help to identify the elements to support the European competitiveness and autonomous access to space in line with the 2016 Space Strategy for Europe.

The Symposium will bring together European and international organisations, industry, regulators, operational stakeholders.


Speaker Presentation
Keynote speech
Philippe Merlo, Director Civil-Military Aviation, EUROCONTROL
Session 1: Higher Airspace Operations – Understanding concepts and needs
Perspective on Higher Airspace Operations
Michel Praet, ESA
Denis Lebleu, Thales Alenia Space
Airbus Zephyr High Altitude Long Endurance RPAS - ‘Understanding Higher Airspace concepts and needs’
Andrew Tailby, Airbus
Private suborbital human space flight and rocket rpopulsion systems for spaceplanes - ArianeGroup's view on regulatory snvironment 
Jean-Philippe Dutheil, Airbus
Operational Overview
Rob Eagles, Google
Zero 2 Infinity, in Near Space since 2009
José Mariano López Urdiales, Zero2Infinity
DANEO Prompt informer
Marc Vales, Dassault Aviation
Session 2: Perspectives of institutions on Higher Airspace Operations
ICAO Update
Yuri Fattah, ICAO
Enabling European Higher Airspace Operations
Steven Higgins, EASA
Network integration
Dragos Tonea, EUROCONTROL Network Manager
Higher Airspace Operations – SESAR perspective
Robin Garrity, SESAR Joint Undertaking
Perspectives on Higher Airspace Operations
Sven Kaltenhaeuser, DLR
The Italian Approach to Commercial Suborbital Transportation
Alessandro Cardi, ENAC
Operations above FL600 French perspective
Pascal Senard, Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile, France
The Air Defence Mission over French national airspace
Colonel Arnaud Brunetta, Armée de l’air, France
Higher Airspace Operations - the perspective of the ANSPs
Manuel Molina, ENAIRE
Conclusions and way forward DOWNLOAD

Organised through a cooperation with

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Photography and filming
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EUROCONTROL Headquarters

Rue de la Fusée 96
1130 Brussels