News Releases

Commission Recognises Five Projects Helping the Single Sky reach its Destination

Madrid, 7 March 2017

Cutting airport management costs, increasing the number of flights that can land in low visibility, as well as safer management of aircraft movements, are just some of the benefits of the five projects that won this year's Single European Sky Awards.  The winners were chosen among 36 applications and 35 countries around the world. The Commission set out to find the best projects that help modernise EU Air Traffic Management (ATM). ATM is a key milestone on the journey to reach the final destination: completing the Single European Sky.  

The awards were delivered by Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, at the World Air Traffic Management Conference and Exhibition, in Madrid.  She stated "all of the nominated projects are the result of innovative and fruitful collaboration and co-creation, involving over 90 companies and institutions. Whether they won or not, all projects submitted this year contribute to making our aviation system safer and more sustainable as well as globally competitive, while meeting the needs of our citizens."

The five winning projects of the Single European Sky Award 2017 are: 

  • Augmented Approaches to Land - enabling low visibility landing
  • RNP Implementation Synchronized in Europe (RISE) - improving access to airports in adverse weather conditions
  • Multiple Remote Tower Operations  - making remote air traffic control possible for more than one airport by a single controller
  • South-East Axis Free Route Airspace (SEAFRA) - making possible extra-EU cooperation on airspace
  • Transition to a Service Oriented Architecture - generating new business models for the ATM

Beside the five winning projects, the jury, composed by experts within and outside the European Commission, has given the following special mentions:

  • Airport Operation Centre (APOC) for cooperation and industrial partnership.
    by Brussels Airport Company
  • Project ELSA for cooperation and industrial partnership.
    by Airbus, Thales, Telespazio, Spectralux Avionics, skyguide, SITA, Leonardo, Rockwell Collins, Honeywell, NATS, Harris, TUI, Ryanair, British Airways, Easyjet, Air France, Maastricht UAC, ENAV, Dassault Aviation
  • ERATO implementation in Bordeaux Centre  for innovation and change management.
    By DSNA, EUROCONTROL-Network Manager
  • Implementation of the new French military ATS system for Enroute in civil control centres for civil-military cooperation.
    By French Ministry of Defence
  • LSD Optimised Descent Profiles powered by SESAR Joint Undertaking for performance and environment.
    By DFS, Austro Control, DSNA, EUROCONTROL, skyguide, Air France, Deutsche Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines
  • Northern Europe Aviation Meteorology Consortium for Cooperation and industrial partnerships.
    By Finnish Meteorological Institute, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Danish Meteorological Institute, Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Icelandic Meteorological Office, Latvian Environment Geology and Meteorology Centre, Estonian Environment
  • PBN Rotorcraft Operations under Demonstration (PROuD) for performance and safety.
    By IDS Ingegneria dei Sistemi, Rega, Norsk Luftambulanse, skyguide, Deep Blue, European Helicopter Association, European HEMS & Air Ambulance Committee
  • SESAR B04.04. Demo7 - Virtual Centre for innovation and technology.
    By Frequentis, EUROCONTROL, skyguide & NATS


The Single European Sky (SES) is a flagship initiative of the European Commission. The objective is to modernise Europe's inefficient airspace management, which is estimated to cost airlines €5 bn each year.

Completing the SES will contribute to several Commission priorities: jobs and growth, internal market, energy union, global competitiveness. Indeed SES's objectives are: decreasing the impact on the environment by 10%, tripling airspace capacity, cutting the cost of ATM management by 50%, and increasing safety tenfold.