EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

Back to EUR-Lex homepage

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

New generation European air traffic management system (SESAR)

New generation European air traffic management system (SESAR)


Regulation (EC) No 219/2007 setting up a Joint Undertaking to develop the EU's air traffic management system (SESAR)



  • It sets up the SESAR (Single European Sky Air Traffic Management (ATM) Research) project.
  • SESAR aims to improve ATM performance by modernising and harmonising Europe's ATM systems through the definition, development, validation and deployment of innovative technological and operational ATM solutions.
  • The SESAR Joint Undertaking (JU) is a public-private partnership in charge of the development phase of the SESAR project. It was founded in 2007 by the European Union and Eurocontrol, the European organisation for the safety of air navigation.


  • It is a Joint Undertaking in charge of the development phase of the SESAR project, the technological (research and development — R & D) component of the Single European Sky (SES), a package of EU measures designed to meet future capacity and air safety needs.
  • It is tasked to provide, in accordance with the ATM master plan, the EU with a high performance air traffic control infrastructure by 2035. This is to enable safer, more environmentally friendly and efficient air transport: i.e. more direct trips using less fuel and fewer delays.
  • It involves the European Commission, Eurocontrol, navigation service providers, air passenger organisations, airspace users, regulators, airport operators, airline, airport and air traffic navigation staff, scientists and equipment manufacturers (around 3 000 experts). The JU is a EU body created for this purpose under Article 187 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
  • It has already delivered an ATM master plan (updated in 2012 and 2015) defining the content, the development and deployment plans for the next generation of ATM systems.
  • It manages the procedures for the award of grants to its members, in line with the rules for participation in the EU's Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for R & D, following its extension in 2014.

SESAR JU's achievements to date include:

  • the world’s first flight in 4 dimensions (3D + time) to enhance end-to-end trajectory information exchange;
  • an extensive toolkit to increase safety on airport runways and
  • free routing to reduce flight and fuel emissions.

From 2014 on, SESAR JU's Research and Innovation (R & I) programme's focus is on areas such as:

  • optimised ATM network service;
  • advanced air traffic services;
  • high-performing airport operations;
  • advanced, integrated and rationalised aviation infrastructure.


The EU's contribution for the SESAR development phase is €700 million under TEN-T and FP7 programmes, complemented by €585 million under the Horizon 2020 programme. In order to take into account the duration of Horizon 2020, all SESAR's calls for proposals must be launched by 31 December 2020.


It entered into force on 3 March 2007.


Council Regulation (EC) No 219/2007 created the SESAR JU. The regulation has been amended twice, in 2008 (Regulation (EC) No 1361/2008) and again in 2014 (Regulation (EU) No 721/2014), when the duration of the SESAR JU was extended until 2024.


Council Regulation (EC) No 219/2007 of 27 February 2007 on the establishment of a Joint Undertaking to develop the new generation European air traffic management system (SESAR) (OJ L 64, 2.3.2007, pp. 1–11)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EC) No 219/2007 have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference purposes only.

last update 08.02.2016