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General Aviation integration into SESAR Concept


Assessment of General Aviation & small airport Technology innovation & adaption for Harmonization of the ATM system

One of the challenges for the General Aviation is its integration into the SESAR Concept. SESAR WP-E AGATHA project addresses this challenge by proposing future SESAR compatible Concept of Operations for GA, including CNS/ATM technologies aiming at reducing the gap between Commercial Air transportation and General Aviation.

The AGATHA project addresses the challenge of seamlessly integrating General Aviation into the SESAR Concept. The existing gap between Commercial Air Transportation and General Aviation in terms of Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) and Air Traffic Management (ATM), e.g. level of equipment and concept of operations, may prevent harmonization of the European ATM system. Technology innovation and adaptation for the GA sector are needed – this has so far been little considered by the SESAR program.

The main objective of the AGATHA project is to consider the feasibility for the General Aviation world of using promising wireless technology innovations to support a wide variety of CNS/ATM applications and concepts defined in or derived from SESAR ConOps step 2 to allow aircraft to safely operate in a “connected” mode. The AGATHA project is structured around two main sets of activities:

1- the first set is mainly operational, identifies the GA applications priority and assesses operational scenarios.
2- The second one is mainly technical, analyses the operational needs in order to define and assess GA wireless CNS system.
   The iterations between these two sets allow the progressive refinement of the technical solution and analysis/simulation results.

Operational activities

• Establish a “Subset of GA priority CNS/ATM applications”, originating from GA stakeholders’ needs expressed during interviews.
  These applications are then consolidated and placed in the perspective of a Concept of Operations (ConOps) for integration of GA in the global ATM system.
• Establish typical scenarios based on the Subset of GA priority CNS/ATM applications, where these applications are exercised.

Technical activities

• Evaluate the GA CNS/ATM applications identified in the operational phase. These applications are translated into "technology-profiles" (data rate, safety, addressing...).
  A list of main services is established in order to initially extend and then aggregate these CNS applications' functions.
• Assess typical deployment scenarios for further characterization of overall system performance indicators (e.g. capacity) for GA.
• Build the state-of-the-art situation of existing CNS technologies in order to support the System Specification of CNS infrastructure for GA and Small Airports.
• Refine technologies selection and check that retained technologies match the requirements identified for the global system.

Assessement and simulation activities

• Capacity and feasibility assessment of the proposed CNS/ATM technologies using simulation and measurements when possible
  (e.g. new cellular technologies, such as Long Term Evolution (LTE) assessment using test flights).
• Analysis and simulation applied to the different operational scenarios that include GA aircraft equipped with and operating the proposed CNS/ATM technologies.

Project partners

Contact: Kanaan ABDO, Project Manager, (

Project Documents

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