Thursday, March 21, 2013

I believe Europe can fly – The SESAR program

I believe Europe can fly – The SESAR program

By Eszter Szücs

At the time when we in Hungary still cry about the collapse of our airline, the Malév, in the EU there is an ambitious new project about the union of the EU countries’ skies. This project is called SESAR, and it is developped to be the European air traffic control infrastructure modernisation programme. With the success of this programme, the EU will have a new generation of air management system which will correct the actual system’s problems.

There are three phases of the SESAR project, as we can see in the picture below.

The first part is the definition phase - it lasted from 2004-2008. It was an ATM (Air Traffic Management) master plan defining the content of the future’s airline system. The second part is the development phase, it began in 2008 and will end in 2013. In that part will be the new generation of technological system and components on the plans of the first phase. And the last phase, what will begin in 2014 called deployment phase, and will last for 2020. It this part of the programme will be the new infrasturcture in both Europe and in partner countries built.

But why is it good for us? Why is the SESAR such a big deal? Because air transport is more and more important in the countries’s economics, and the SESAR is not just a transport project, but a big, multinational system to will reform the Air Traffic Management as we know today. It will optimalise the air transportation what is thronged, but with the optimal organisation referring to the brochure of SESAR, we will have shorter flight times, with 50% fewer delays, more sustainable air travel through 10% in CO2 emissions, enchanced mobility through a better match between future demand and offer for air transport in line with economic growth, safer air travel, an overall increase in economic growth/ GDP, and the creation of new jobs. The number of those jobs will be 42000 if we can believe the official numbers. This new jobs can cause a growth in the GDP - but this will be not the only impact the project has on GDP - So if we count all the implementions, so direct, indirect and induced effects, in the period of 2013-2030 the SESAR would cause a 0,02 percentage point growth in the GDP.

It seems like air transportation has many effects on the economy of a country. We can find many studies about the regional economic benefits of air transport. They say that the most air transport employment is in the developed regions of the world, so the level of the air transportation in a country is related to a nation’s financial status. Buti n that case Hungary is not in the best position, but that is now an other topic.

So as we can see, if the SESAR turns into reality, with time it will have a very positive impact on the European air transportation and on the economy too. Europe in the time of the long.lasting crisis needs those new developments and investments to support innovation, mobility and economic growth.

But still we have to wait. The project needs too much circumstances, to give the wanted effect. First of all, one of the main points is central coordination. To build this new system in the EU, countries need good infrastructure, a synchronisation between each other, and for all these the project is in need of a lot of time. I hope, that for 2050 we will se the good impacts of that reform in the air on the ground too.


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