SESAR project officially launched

The European Commission formally launched SESAR today — that’s the EU’s version of NextGen. An excerpt from the AP wire on today’s event:

The EU said the new system should make flights safer, shorter and less polluting by helping air traffic controllers direct planes more efficiently.

In addition, the EU hopes the new system will enable a tripling of capacity, cut air traffic management costs by 50 percent, curb greenhouse gas emissions and achieve an overall punctuality rate of 95 percent, officials said.

“This is one of the most complex research and development programs ever launched in (Europe),” said Antonio Tajani, vice president of the European Commission, the EU head office.

The EU is looking at a “launch date” of 2020, but which capabilities that exactly entails isn’t terribly clear at the moment.

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