FUAVE core member VTT joins the EU’s SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking as a founding member. The objective is to modernise and digitalise the use and management of European airspace and to enable innovations of the new generation of aviation, such as inspection and delivery drones, electric aircrafts and air taxis.
As a founding member, VTT offers for all FUAVE members a way to explore opportunities for collaboration in SESAR 3 JU. Both traditional aircrafts and unmanned autonomous drones are involved SESAR 3, and the JU offers a great environment for:
- experimenting and developing innovations that are scalable
- defining the architecture of aviation
- principles for safe airspace usage
- influence decisions made by the SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking
Today’s challenges in air traffic are inefficiency, delay sensitivity to changes (weather, pandemics) and general unpredictability. These are caused by the national and mutually different airspace control structures, poor scalability of flight capacity, fixed flight paths, inadequacies in the exchange of information between operators and low level of automation in air traffic, among other things. Although COVID-19 has significantly reduced air traffic volumes momentarily, the importance of aviation in the logistics of people and goods is still on the increase. In addition to traditional air traffic, drones and electric air taxis are entering the sky. Safe and efficient airspace management requires development.
Air traffic is also exceptionally important in Finland compared to many other European countries; the distances are long, the country is relatively sparsely populated, and the development of road or rail transport alone does not provide citizens with equal mobility opportunities. Low-emission aviation, electric solutions and digitalisation enable the development of sustainable and cost-effective aviation solutions and their integration into multimodal travel and transport chains. Finland has expertise and strong capabilities to be at the forefront of this transformation.
SESAR 3 develops a new generation of Digital European Sky architecture that addresses all of these challenges through digitalisation, open data platforms, digital situational awareness, artificial intelligence, analytics and standards.
“A new generation of aviation opens up new business opportunities for Finland. In March 2022, VTT, Business Finland and the Ministry of Transport and Communications will organise a seminar on the topic. We invite companies, universities and research institutes to join us in exploring opportunities for collaboration”, says Timo Lind who acts in VTT as the main contact point in the SESAR 3 JU collaboration.
Horizon Europe is the 9th EU Research & Innovation Framework Programme with a budget of €95.5 billion for 2021–2027. The programme funds R&D activities from basic research to market-ready innovations.
SESAR is the technological pillar of the EU’s Single European Sky policy and a key enabler of the European Commission’s Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy. SESAR defines, develops and deploys technologies to transform air traffic management in Europe.
The SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking (SESAR 3 JU) is a European institutional public-private partnership set up to accelerate through research and innovation the delivery of this digital transformation, in other words, the Digital European Sky. To do so, it is harnessing, developing and accelerating the take-up of the most cutting-edge technological solutions to manage conventional aircraft, drones, air taxis and vehicles flying at higher altitudes. With the Digital European Sky comes the promise of making Europe’s airspace the most efficient and environmentally-friendly sky to fly in the world.
Building on the work of the first SESAR Joint Undertaking, the SESAR 3 JU has 10-year mandate (2021-2031), corresponding to the duration of the Horizon Europe programme (2021-2027), followed by 4 years to complete the work outlined in the Multiannual Work Programme.