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.

In terms of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, the SESAR Deployment Manager has spoken of its concerns over the absence of military projects, the need for cyber-resilience through an effective SWIM governance mechanism and the impact over delayed datalink technology. How worried are you that these collectively – or individually – could prove to be ‘show stoppers’.

Martin Rolfe, NATS Obviously it’s important that these things get resolved and that, as an industry – including both civil and military communities – we work together to ensure our customers get the benefits of SESAR deployment.

I don’t think it’s helpful to get hung up on possible ‘show stoppers’ though, there are lots of SESAR concepts that our customers want deployed and that we can deploy. While datalink, SWIM and civil-military cooperation are all significant to SESAR deployment – and we of course need to address any issues that might affect their implementation – we can and should focus on getting solutions that are ready for deployment into operation as quickly as possible.

Read the SESAR CEO Survey 2016

Magda Jaworska, PANSA As far as military airspace users are concerned – they are de facto our major customer – they have the greatest retrofit requirements so we are seeing their Implementing Projects emerging.

Concerning the impact of cyber security on the distributed data processing – that’s what technically the future ATM is supposed to be – it is again nothing new and has been raised by the SDM.

Looking at banking and telecommunications solutions, we can observe how crucial it is. If an area control centre power supply and wiring goes down, then imagine how that could impact the wide-area distributed infrastructure which is susceptible to all sorts of intrusion.

What might happen if remote working positions of a virtual area control centre lose their connections with their central processors or – even worse – the information gets altered? I would want to very seriously consider this issue.

Cârnu Fănică, ROMATSA These are for sure risks identified during the SESAR deployment phase. They need to be monitored and mitigated accordingly within the implementation of the Deployment Programme.

Regarding the lack of military projects, even if they do not present specific projects, they need to be and indeed are involved in the deployment of the implementation projects of the civil Implementation Projects Partners (IPP).

An example in this respect is the military participation in the deployment of ASM solutions under ATM functionality AF-3 in accordance with Regulation (EU) 716/2014 on the establishment of the Pilot Common Project (PCP) supporting the implementation of the European ATM Master Plan.

Franc Županič, Slovenia Control These are justified concerns and their consideration should be initiated at the appropriate level, maybe through including them in the content of the next Common Project.

Effective SWIM governance and datalink technology with sufficient provision are important jigsaw pieces in the SESAR puzzle.

Jan Klas, ANS CR Our understanding is that these might have very negative impact on the whole SESAR deployment as every aspect of ATM functionality is important to achieve and implement.

The aim should be to remove such possible bottlenecks. There are always some weaknesses or threats, especially in such a huge programmes as SESAR deployment. Nevertheless, none of these issues should be irresolvable, but the concrete steps must be taken to avoid any potential failure.

Anders Kirsebom, Avinor In general, my answer would be no. The military are for example involved in AF-3, Flexible Airspace Management and Free Route, and the potential to succeed in making use of European airspace more flexible is absolutely within reach. This would mean added value to both our military and civilian airspace users.

Concerning cyber resilience, I am pleased to see the increased focus on this important issue. Cyber security is also one of the new topics that is included in the 2015 European ATM Master Plan, which do I support.

Georgi Peev, BULATSA The question indeed contains interesting points which can be seen as risks or alternatively – as opportunities. We see military involvement gathering momentum. And I am sure the SDM has played a role in that.

Cyber security is a concern but also represents a rapidly growing sector as well. SWIM has taken off and with the quality of people involved it will develop, I am sure. So I would rather be positive about what the future holds. The combined effect of all that is being developed right now will take us to a whole new level which we cannot totally imagine today.

Dragan Bilać, Croatia Control Some of them may become ‘show stoppers’, and EU military authorities and experts should be invited on board in order to reduce the risks or weaknesses/threats. I believe that there will be enough time to make additional efforts through the SDM to involve all stakeholders within time, and to solve any problems.

Klaus-Dieter Scheurle, DFS With the SDM the aviation community now has a strong cross-border management function to better address issues which may have fallen short of expectations in the past.

As both datalink and SWIM are within the scope of the PCP, I am convinced that the SDM will find an appropriate way to implement these functionalities together with the implementing partner and thus be able to clarify issues of the past.

With respect to military projects, the SDM signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the European Defence Agency on 30 June. This framework will foster the necessary civil-military cooperation in order to implement new functionalities.

Maurice Georges, DSNA Cyber resilience is today’s challenge with or without SESAR. SESAR is only increasing the need to ensure better co-operation between operational stakeholders on this critical need. SESAR deployment also provides incentives to make cyber security achievable all over the network.

Tanel Rautits, EANS I don’t think single projects or areas will be the show stoppers, it is more the issue of whether we can move forward in all areas. We have only started to implement small add-ons and big changes are still under development. Military projects will adapt to the changes, and SWIM has a long way to go before we can start gaining from it, but those are still only elements of a much bigger picture.

Ángel Luis Arias Serrano, ENAIRE We are indeed concerned about all these issues but there are signs of progress where every one of them is concerned.

The 2014 INEA Call did not include any military candidate project. On the contrary, INEA’s 2015 Call includes 35 military candidate IPs, which means approximately 12 per cent of the total.

In addition, e 2015 INEA Call also includes some candidate IPs related to SWIM governance with the participation of Eurocontrol and a significant number of European ANSPs – including ENAIRE. This project will address the various SWIM governance aspects required to support the SESAR Deployment Programme, and in particular all the deployment activities related to iSWIM.

In relation to the delay in datalink technology, it may have an impact on the deployment of the PCP AF-6 functionality. ENAIRE is confident that the results of the SJU study foreseen in the second quarter of 2016 will propose some ‘future-proof’ technical solution that will minimise the potential negative impact on PCP deployment.

Kornél Szepessy, HungaroControl I share the concern of the SDM that these items collectively may significantly delay the deployment of the SESAR programme thus reducing its overall benefit, but would not call them ‘show stoppers’.

I think the most important aspect about cyber resilience is indeed awareness: similar to more traditional aspects of safety and security, cyber security awareness should be present on all levels of activities and organisations. Governance mechanisms alone cannot achieve this.

Eamonn Brennan, IAA The delay to the datalink mandate and the continuing technical uncertainty is of great concern to those States/ANSPs and airlines that have invested heavily to meet the original deadline. There is an increasing belief among these parties that this investment will not pay dividends in terms of increased efficiency, even in the long term.

In fact, many remain to be convinced that by the time we reach 2020, the equipage put in place by these early adopters will be obsolete and the monies invested will be wasted. Similar pan-European projects must not in the future repeat the mistakes of datalink. The industry simply cannot afford the investment in monies and other resources without benefiting from enhanced efficiency in return.

Effective civil/military integration is vital to the optimisation of the European network while at the same time protecting sufficient airspace to allow the military conduct their important mission. This may require further action by the EC to ensure that across the EU, the military are obliged to participate in activities which help optimise network performance and that military projects are integrated with SESAR deployment.

It is necessary to pursue a pan-European approach to cyber security in the ATM industry as future EU-wide systems such as SWIM will rely on IP technology and will be susceptible to disruption unless they are hardened against cyber attack.

Any of these issues has the potential to severely hamper SESAR deployment so it is important that the EC takes a leadership role in the mitigation of the threats that they pose to the European ATM network.

Olle Sundin, LFV The integration of civil and military activities is positive and sometimes negative – we have some very good experience from supporting both the military and civil markets. But it is clear that sometimes the efficiency measures needed cannot be agreed due to military aspects.

Datalink is an example of how we as an industry tried to take shortcuts in technology and concepts – something that proved extremely costly and may jeopardise SESAR as such.



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