Europe is looking for the technology to drive a new £13bn air traffic management system to cope with its increasingly congested skies.
The Sesar project will overhaul current technologies used to keep planes at safe separations, and allow pilots to fly their own routes and altitudes. The new automated system would shorten individual flight journeys, reducing fuel use and pollution.
“Europe will have the most effective air traffic control infrastructure in the world,” commented Jacques Barrot, vice-president of the European Commission and Commissioner for Transport.
Sesar is expected to make use of Galileo, Europe’s next-generation satellite-navigation network which will come into operation over the next five years.