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(A.) Policy and legislation

(A.1) Policy objectives

The EU’s Single European Sky (SES) initiative has at its heart the reform of the Air Traffic Management (ATM) in Europe in order to cope both with sustained air traffic growth over the last decade and with significant unforeseen traffic variations such as the one caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This requires changes in operations under the safest, most cost- and flight-efficient and environmentally friendly conditions. It implies de-fragmenting the European airspace, reducing delays, increasing safety standards and flight efficiency to reduce the aviation environmental footprint, and regulating costs related to monopolistic service provision. A new legislative package (SES2+) is currently under discussion.

As a key pillar of the Single European Sky (SES) Regulation (EC) No 552/200457 on the interoperability of the European ATM has set out requirements for developing standards and for testing of ground-based ATM systems and constituents. With the adoption of the New Basic Regulation58, Regulation (EC) 552/2004 was repealed and the essential requirements for ATM systems have been transferred to it. During a transition period, ending on 12 September 202359, the requirements on developing standards and assessing conformity remain valid. In line with the European Plan for Aviation Safety (EPAS) 2020-202460, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will develop a new framework for conformity assessment of ground systems and constituents used in the provision of ATM/ANS (Rule Making Task RMT.0161). These future rules for demonstrating compliance with relevant requirements for safety, performance and interoperability aim to ensure the proper functioning of European ATM operations. During the transition period until September 2023, grandfathering of existing standards (i.e. Community Specifications) and of EC Declarations is provided.

The SESAR programme, as the technological pillar to modernise the SES is instrumental in pursuing the Digital European Sky as a vision which has the potential to drive research and innovation. The deployment of the SESAR solutions by ANSPs, airports and airlines require in many cases the use of standards to ensure safety and interoperability of the systems deployed. In this context, standards remain a fundamental part of the SESAR life cycle to ensure the seamless and timely transition from the R&D phase to deployment.

(A.2) EC perspective and progress report

Implementing Regulation (EU) No 716/2014 on the establishment of the joint pilot project to support the implementation of the ATM Master Plan (“PCP Regulation”) has mandated the deployment of a group of ATM functionalities that requires standardisation. The PCP regulation is under revision, but the functionalities are not expected to be changed. These functionalities are as follows:

  • (a) Extended Arrival Management and Performance Based Navigation in the High Density Terminal Manoeuvring Areas;
  • (b) Airport Integration and Throughput;
  • (c) Flexible Airspace Management and Free Route;
  • (d) Network Collaborative Management;
  • (e) Initial System Wide Information Management;
  • (f) Initial Trajectory Information Sharing.

The standardisation and regulatory related activities in support of SES are coordinated by the European ATM Standards Coordination Group (EASCG). The EASCG work to develop, monitor and maintain an overarching European ATM standardisation rolling development plan (RDP), based on the standardisation roadmap from the SESAR framework, and inputs from the its members. The group facilitates the sharing of work among the European Standardisation Organisations (CEN, CENELEC, ETSI) thus avoiding overlapping developments and identifying gaps. It identifies the technical input from other sources (such as ICAO GANP and ASBUs or RTCA) Other two groups have been set up to develop, coordinate and maintain similar Standardisation Rolling Development Plans in the areas of drones and cybersecurity. These groups are European

Unmanned Standard Coordination Group (EUSCG) and European Cybersecurity Standard Coordination Group (ECSCG).

(A.3) References

(C.) Activities and additional information  

(C.1) Related standardisation activities

The Commission  decided to award a grant to EUROCAE in support of the development of standards and technical specifications for SESAR technologies and standards using EGNOS and Galileo in aviation. The action ran from 1January 2019 until 31 December 2020.

This grant was in support in the development of the required standards or revision of existing ones in support of the Single European Sky with a view to accelerating the transition from development to deployment of SESAR solutions, and supporting end-to-end product/system standardisation.


European ATM Standards Coordination Group (EASCG) coordination of ATM standardisation activities in support of SES and SESAR deployment maintains a Rolling Development Plan (A-SDP) that can be found in the link:

European Unmanned Standard Coordination Group (EUSCG) coordination of drone standardisation activities and their integration with UTM and ATM maintains a Rolling Development Plan (U-SDP) that can be found in the link:

European Cybersecurity Standard Coordination Group (ECSCG) coordination of cybersecurity standardisation activities maintains a Rolling Development Plan (C-SDP) that can be found in the link:

The three above mentioned SDPs are regularly updated to reflect the current situation of standardisation developments.


The Commission has mandated European standards, consistent with the ATM Master Plan in support of the SES, based on EUROCAE documents.

57 Single European Sky Interoperability Regulation (EC) No 552/2004 -…

58 Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2018 on common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Union Aviation Safety Agency

59 see Article 139 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1139