Innovation key to EUROCONTROL’S plans for 2023
The EUROCONTROL Innovation Hub has a wave of new projects planned for the year to come, as well as plans to continue existing air innovation projects.
EUROCONTROL is looking forward to a wide range of new user-driven innovation projects which it aims to implement this year.
In 2023, a new wave of projects will be launched to meet real operational stakeholder challenges, as well as ongoing work on innovation projects from previous years as the EUROCONTROL Innovation Hub (EIH) team and stakeholders perform live, shadow-mode and operational trials of prototypes created in previous cycles.
Also planned is a new edition of the Innovation MeetUp, the event started last year for sharing experiences and identifying synergies and new partnerships among actors from the European air transport innovation ecosystem. To foster EUROCONTROL’S connection with academia, they will launch the second edition of the innovation competition for universities.
As part of the organisation’s research work, EUROCONTROL will be playing a key role in various SESAR 3 projects which will commence in the second part of the year. In addition, they are participating in Digital Sky Demonstrator activities together with a large number of European partners, leading U-ELCOME (the U-space European Common Deployment project), and contributing to the BURDI (BeNe U-space Reference Design Implementation) and HERON (Highly Efficient Green Operations) projects.
In 2023, the organisation will work on its simulator modernisation programme to benefit from synergies with the development of the iNM (integrated Network Management) Digital Platform, enabling it to meet future service demand and keep up with new research concepts that will need to be validated.
On the drone side, the EIH team are supporting States in performing airspace risk assessments for the introduction of U-space. In 2022, they assisted Estonia, Israel, Portugal, Lithuania and Denmark – and early in 2023 will start to support Spain. Following successful workshops addressing the requirements of the U-space regulatory package provided to Türkiye in 2022, a new series will begin in 2023 for Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Montenegro, Serbia and others.
In addition, the organisation is very excited about setting up its Drone Centre of Excellence. This will host the operations of the Parisian drone test corridor scheduled to open in 2023 in preparation for the Paris Olympic Games, and will become a foundation for EUROCONTROL to support Member States in similar local/national initiatives. The Centre will also host a UTM (Uncrewed Traffic Management) simulator which is being developing in partnership with Airbus.