In the SESAR CEO Survey 2016 Air Traffic Management magazine has comprehensively surveyed the senior leadership within the European industry on SESAR deployment and the prospects for success.
The SESAR Deployment Manager (SDM) – whose task will be to ensure synchronised deployment – sees industrial partnerships and competition as helpful but has admitted that achieving standardisation may be problematic. Do you think its concerns are justified?
Klaus-Dieter Scheurle, DFS I partially share the concerns of the SDM. I acknowledge that achieving standardisation is a challenge. A challenge which ANSPs need to address directly. An important step to shorten the standardisation process is to provide common and very specific requirements based on jointly validated results from the SESAR JU (SJU) R&D programme which leave little room for interpretation and long discussions.
Read the SESAR CEO Survey 2016
Maurice Georges, DSNA The role of the SDM should not only be to support Pilot Common Project (PCP) implementation, but also to promote, and, if necessary, require, a minimum level of standardisation between the different industrial solutions. The role of the SDM on this issue comes in sequence after the SJU role of validating operational and industrial SESAR solutions.
Tanel Rautits, EANS The standardisation issue has been the biggest problem since the very beginning and SESAR in a way was created to solve it. It definitely cannot do everything, but it is the best way we have. The concerns are there, but it is the SDM’s main task to implement things in a harmonised – or rather – a standardised way.
Ángel Luis Arias Serrano, ENAIRE The SDM has identified a clear risk of failure by having the required standards and regulations delivered in timely fashion. If this risk becomes a reality it will impact on the timely implementation of the PCP and its associated benefits. Therefore no one should underestimate this risk.
Even if the SDM intends to work closely with the SJU, European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and EUROCAE in order to maintain an alignment of their respective work programmes with the Deployment Programme and with the operational stakeholders via the Stakeholder Consultation Platform (SCP), it is of outmost importance that the European Commission ensures stronger commitment with this risk and ensures that the necessary resources are available within those bodies involved in critical development of standards and regulation
Eamonn Brennan, IAA We fully agree that industrial partnerships offer significant benefits to the achievement of SESAR deployment. They facilitate the cooperation of ANSPs and other stakeholders, outside of the FAB framework on a commercial basis, to achieve the SES goals. Good examples of this concept include the COOPANS FDP partnership which has seen ANSP partners across three FABs, share the procurement and development costs to deliver the most advanced FDP system currently in operation at significant savings to their airline customers.
Kornél Szepessy, HungaroControl The definition of industrial partnerships has still not been clarified satisfactorily. However, it is often referred to as the way ahead in European ATM. I am of the view that cooperation of different operational and industrial stakeholders can be beneficial for the whole ATM system, but I would be careful in granting these partnerships decision-making rights or regulatory roles without ensuring a level playing field and avoiding conflicts of interest.
Olle Sundin, LFV The concern is partially justified due to the fact that it is not quite clear who is responsible for standardisation. SESAR is responsible for the concept (maturity V3) while the SDM is responsible for implementation (maturity V5) although it is more unclear regarding who has the responsibility for V4. EASA should be involved earlier and EASA should involve national regulators.
Martin Rolfe, NATS Aviation is unique in many ways, but in requiring common standards it is not so different from other industries like telecoms. Interoperability is the key here and we need to ensure that there are open standards that help this to evolve. It’s in the interests of both the airspace users and the ANSPs that this happens, particularly if we are serious about delivering a Single European Sky. As an industry we need to do all we can to make sure this happens. Nobody would say that competition has stopped the mobile phone market from adopting standards that allow you or me to use our smart phone around the world. We should be no different.
Magda Jaworska, PANSA The race is already being hotly contested. The winner may not only be the best-in-class but also the one who owns more industrial standards. Achieving and maintaining a balance in the manufacturing marketplace is a well-known problem and we can cite anti-trust cases in domains other than ATM. This issue has been recognised within SJU programmes.
The other point is more ATM-specific. The frontline of ATM is the air traffic controllers and their involvement is necessary to create operational standards. Since the majority of ANSPs have been developing their own practices for decades and every controller group has slightly different opinions, this may need time to unify.
Cârnu Fănică, ROMATSA Considering that standardisation requires compliance with technical, safety/security regulations, certification material/requirements, the concerns of the SDM are justified; all of these may slow down synchronised deployment.
Franc Županič, Slovenia Control Past activities are showing us, that these areas are to be addressed in a very sensitive way. Industrial partnerships are of course considered as something to be promoted as beneficial in many ways, but a lack of standardisation in combination with public procurement rules, is definitely not to feature in a competitive environment.
Jan Klas, ANS CR They are justified. The SDM may improve the level of standardisation in Europe, although it will take some time and effort to achieve it. ANSPs and their industrial partners in the SDM play their role in setting the standards. Outside the SDM, they assume the role of customer-supplier and obey the rules of tenders and competition. I am not sure to what extent these roles fit well with each other, but I am pretty sure that they do not fully do so.
Anders Kirsebom, Avinor When discussing standardisation one must not forget interoperability. ATM-systems do not necessarily need to be identical, but they need to be interoperable. When purchasing new ATM/CNS-systems we need competition to be able to ensure we get the best price available related to the standards defined.
We can conduct procurements ourselves or in cooperation with other ANSPs with the aim to reduce our investment costs. I think the latter would be more common in the future, and this will be well aligned with the intention in the draft Single European Sky II+ legislation.
Johan Decuyper, Belgocontrol Industrial partnerships are always helpful. Partnership is not the same as competition. SESAR deployment should take place in a spirit of cooperation and not of competition. The concern on standardisation is fully justified as a delay in standardisation activities is a major risk for the implementation of ATM functionalities. Without proper standards and specifications, ATM functionalities cannot be implemented in a harmonised manner.
Georgi Peev, BULATSA In its process of ensuring synchronised deployment, the SDM should by all means work in close cooperation with the respective standardisation bodies. From our point of view as an operational stakeholder, standardisation must be ensured. We’ve seen that a relevant focus on standardisation activities is present today in the deployment roadmaps of the various ATM functionalities and we very much hope that good standardisation guidelines will be there in time.