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Solutions for General Aviation and Rotorcraft - SESAR-VLD1-09-2016
Deadline: Mar 22, 2017  

 Aerospace Technology
 Aeronautics Industries
 Horizon Europe

Specific Challenge:

This topic addresses the application of specific SESAR solutions to operations by GA and rotorcraft, using non-certified or GA-specific on-board equipment.

With reference to the SJU Annual Work Programme 2016, this topic covers Section 3.5.4, sub Work area 2.3 topic a).

The SESAR programme is geared mostly towards improving ATM for the commercial air transport sector, mostly operating IFR inside controlled airspace. However, the GA and rotorcraft communities should also be able to benefit from the concepts developed in the SESAR programme which, at the same time, should ease integration of GA and rotorcraft into airspace and airports where the SESAR concepts and technologies are implemented. The challenge of this demonstration is to show how GA and rotorcraft can benefit from concepts and technologies developed within the SESAR programme, and to make recommendations for research, regulation, certification and standardisation.


The scope of this topic is to demonstrate the ability of General Aviation and rotorcraft to use and benefit from Solutions and technology developed within the SESAR programme in the following environments:

  • Flight Planning, including SWIM-based information management and exchange;

  • Airport/airfield operations, including GNSS procedures and simultaneous non-interfering operations intended to increase access to airports for GA and rotorcraft;

  • Airborne situation awareness, traffic avoidance, collision avoidance, and airspace avoidance; and

  • Data link communications, including the airborne exchange of information, such as aeronautical information and meteorological information.

Through live-flying trials, the demonstration will build confidence within the aviation community in the ability of GA aircraft and rotorcraft to operate safely and efficiently in the evolving SESAR environment, while also benefiting from new technology and procedures, through the execution of demonstration flights. To achieve this, it is desirable for consortia to include all necessary stakeholders, such as airspace users, including GA owners/operators, airport operators, industry and ANSPs. Where any stakeholder is not included directly in the consortium, applicants shall show how their involvement will be assured.

The scenarios for the demonstration flights may be based on existing SESAR Solutions, and the plan shall clearly state which elements of which solutions each scenario is intended to demonstrate; it is not necessary for a scenario to cover every element of a chosen Solution. Some Solutions will be more suitable for fixed-wing aircraft, others for rotorcraft, and most for both. The demonstration must include flights by both fixed-wing and rotary aircraft, although it is not necessary to demonstrate every scenario for both stakeholder groups. Applicants should demonstrate how the scale and balance of their proposed flying programme will provide the benefits expected to be derived from the project.

In all cases, the aim is to demonstrate how SESAR Solutions could be applied using actual GA aircraft, fixed-wing and rotary, equipped with non-certified equipment. Simulation can be used to develop the demonstration, but the demonstration itself must be through live flying.

It is not necessary to demonstrate IFR solutions in controlled airspace, but the demonstration must show such operations taking place as if they were able to operate in that environment. For example, where a concept is being demonstrated that would assist IFR operations in controlled airspace, which would normally need certified equipment, the demonstration could occur in Class G airspace under VFR, allowing the concept to be flown safely without the need for special authorisations or certification activity.

The following information is presented to assist applicants to scope their proposals. However, the list should not be considered prescriptive or exhaustive, and applicants may select multiple elements of Solutions as required to deliver useful and cost-effective demonstrations, or create new scenarios aimed at demonstrating the use of non-certified technology to bring benefits to the GA and rotorcraft communities.

Full details of the SESAR Solutions can be found on the SESAR web site[1] or in the Solutions Catalogue[2]. As a guide, it is considered that the following solutions seem to be particularly suited to this demonstration activity:

  • Solution 62: P-RNAV in a complex terminal airspace;

  • Solution 09: Enhanced terminal operations with RNP transition to ILS/GLS;

  • Solution 51: Enhanced terminal operations with RNP transition to LPV;

  • Solution 103: Approach procedures with vertical guidance;

  • Solution 37: Extended flight plan;

  • Solution 34: Digital integrated briefing; and

  • Solution 113: Low-level IFR routes.

Note that Solution 113 is under development and is, at the time of writing, not yet published. Its scope is as follows:

Low-level IFR routes could provide a consistent path for navigation to and away from the departure and approach phases. Design requirements are already defined by ICAO in the PBN Manual (Doc 9613): RNP 1 in general and RNP 0.3 where necessary (constraining environment). New low-level routes are based on RNP 0.3 specification, that is for helicopters and low-speed aircraft only. According to the PBN Manual, the RNP 0.3 Navigation specification has been defined primarily for helicopter applications (e.g low-level routes). Dedicated rotorcraft routes will not only increase airspace capacity, but will improve safety, equity and accessibility in the TMA. Furthermore, the management of particular helicopter characteristics could be done with more efficiency and predictability than before. Routes are totally IFR compliant and guarantee a high degree of safety and flyability in relation to altitudes (decreasing the possibility to encounter icing condition), better separation among other rotorcraft or low speed aircraft, and separation and terrain-avoidance by design is assured inside controlled airspace.

In addition, elements of the following solutions could be demonstrated to show applicability of relevant technology to GA:

  • Solution 101: Improved hybrid surveillance (ADS-B in for ATSAW);

  • Solution 65: User-preferred routing (demonstrating the ability of GA to route plan and fly using non-published waypoints); and

  • Solution 110: ADS-B surveillance of aircraft in flight and on the surface (use of ADS-B to provide ANSPs with improved information of GA activity, for example to reduce airspace infringements or to alert in case of runway incursions, etc).

Applicants are also encouraged to propose innovative GA and/or rotorcraft-specific applications of the technologies used in SESAR Solutions.

Conclusions and recommendations concerning safety, regulation and certification shall address what would be necessary for live operations, not simply for one-off demonstrations. Safety conclusions shall include an analysis of human elements, such as distraction or information-overload from the introduction of new technologies and displays into the GA cockpit, and recommendations for addressing such conclusions shall be made.

The demonstration activities shall cover the full demonstration lifecycle. This includes development of the concept of the demonstrations, participation in periodic meetings, production of all the documentation related to the demonstration (most notably including the demonstration plan and the demonstration report), and results dissemination and communication activities. The demonstration report shall include a full analysis by each participating stakeholder of the impact of the demonstrated concept on performance within their sphere of operations.

Participating stakeholders shall make available data from their flights for the operational evaluation of the performance of the concepts under demonstration.

Expected Impact:

The demonstration will produce evidence that can be used to support regulation, standardisation and certification. Results of the demonstration should quantify performance improvements resulting from the demonstration flights, using, as a minimum, relevant KPAs from the performance framework defined in the ATM Master Plan. This will support the development of GA and rotorcraft-specific technologies. By doing this, GA and rotorcraft operations should become safer and more efficient, as well as being able to integrate more freely with commercial aviation at a wider range of airports and airspace environments.

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