SESAR Joint Undertaking

SESAR Joint Undertaking


The SESAR Joint Undertaking (JU) is an initiative of the European Commission and has been established by Regulation No 219/2007 of the European Council with the objective to develop the new generation European air traffic management system (SESAR).



The concept for the SESAR system is the EU's response to the need of technological modernisation of the European ATM system in order to meet the performance and environmental challenges of the next decade. In the Communication attached to the Regulation establishing the SESAR JU, the European Commission states that the reliability and safety rates for air transport, if maintained, require a qualitative leap for the future as the capacity limit becomes critical. SESAR, being the technological element of the Single European Sky, should enable air transport make this leap.

Statute and Governance

The SESAR JU has a legal personality. It is a non-profit entity and has its base in Brussels. The JU has two founding members: the European Community represented by the European Commission and EUROCONTROL, represented by its Agency.

The SESAR JU is governed by Administrative Board and Executive Director. The Administrative Board is composed of a representative from each of the JU members and of the aviation sectors concerned. The Board is chaired by the representative of the European Community.

The Executive Director is appointed by the Administrative Board. He is responsible for the day-to-day management of the JU and is its legal representative.

The JU shall cease to exist 8 years after the endorsement by the European Council of the ATM Master Plan done on 30th March 2009.

SESAR JU Responsibilities and Tasks

The main task of the JU is to manage the research, development and validation activities of the SESAR project by combining public and private sector funding provided by its members and using external technical resources and in particular by using EUROCONTROL's experience and expertise.

The JU will manage and oversee all projects and activities to be completed during the SESAR Development Phase in the timeframe 2008-2014. Those are defined in the Work Programme based on the ATM Master Plan which was developed on behalf of EUROCONTROL by an industrial consortium during the SESAR Definition Phase.

The Joint Undertaking will in particular perform the following tasks:

  • Secure the appropriate funding for the SESAR Programme by combining and managing public and private funds
  • Organise the technical research and development, validation and study work to be carried out concentrating all relevant R&D resources for the implementation of the ATM Master Plan;
  • Define and update the SESAR work programme, in accordance with work progress;
  • Ensure project involvement by stakeholders from the ATM sector (service providers, users, professional organisations, airports, manufacturers, as well as the scientific community and institutions);
  • Ensure consistency, efficiency and technical progress on all items of the work programme;
  • Supervise the activities to develop joint products identified in the ATM Master Plan;
  • Report on the development phase results, and prepare relevant actions for the implementation of these results.

The SESAR work programme will be organised into detailed work packages, for which the JU will either:

  • Allocate tasks and responsibilities to its members; or
  • Organise calls for tender.

The Work Programme, executed in cooperation with the 16 SJU members, comprises 16 Work Packages oriented to providing tangible results from the ATM Network R&D Programme. These packages will develop and deliver the necessary operational and technical materials (specifications, procedures, prototypes, validation reports, etc) for the progressive industrialisation, deployment and operation of the new ATM system. To view the Work Packages click here.

The JU issued the first Annual Report on the progress of the SESAR project (covering the period 15 June 2007 - 31 December 2008), in particular with regard to the timetable, costs and performance of the project. The SESAR JU Annual Report 2007-2008 can be viewed here.

The full text of the European Council regulation establishing the SESAR Joint Undertaking can be viewed here.

Further Reading

European Commission



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