Case Studies

The single European sky: a winning collaboration between the public and private sectors


Air transport makes an essential contribution to the economy and employment in the European Union, providing work for around 5 million people and generating over 2% of GDP.

However, European airports are at risk of saturation and every year inefficiencies due to fragmentation of European airspace, structured around the borders of individual countries, entail extraordinary costs of almost €5 billion borne by airlines and their customers.

Decisions and actions

Faced with these challenges, the EU launched the Single European Sky (SES) initiative in 2004 with the aim of removing national air boundaries and creating a single airspace to:

  • improve safety tenfold

  • triple airspace capacity

  • reduce air traffic management costs by 50%

  • reduce environmental impact by 10%.

The Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) programme is the technological pillar of the "single European sky" initiative. This programme, for which the EU has committed €3.8 billion over the period 2005-2020, aims to provide Europe with an efficient air traffic control infrastructure capable of ensuring the development of air transport on secure bases, respecting the environment and providing interoperability among all the players involved.

In 2014, the European Commission entrusted the Client, a Brussels-based body with participation from the main European public and private stakeholders in the Aviation sector, with the responsibility for coordinating and synchronising the Deployment Programme - the implementation programme aimed at achieving SESAR's goals.

The Client's role presents considerable complexities linked, on the one hand, to the need to plan, coordinate and synchronise the implementation of advanced technologies for numerous air transport stakeholders in Europe and, on the other, to managing the funds made available by the EU to support the implementation of the SESAR programme.

In this context, we have been chosen by the Client since the start of its activities to provide strategic, organisational and operational support, thanks to our unique expertise in European management consulting in the fields of Aviation and Air Traffic Management. In particular, we have supported the Client's management in key activities to ensure the organisation's success, such as:

  • defining long-term strategic guidelines

  • developing operational processes and procedures

  • defining, updating and periodically monitoring the Deployment Programme

  • managing financial aspects related to the co-funding made available by the EU to support the Programme's implementation.


Just a few years after its establishment, the SESAR Deployment Manager is today an example of successful collaboration between public institutions and private stakeholders at European level, providing a decisive contribution to achieving the goals of the "single European sky".

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