Last week I attended the Avionics Europe 2013 conference, which was held in Munich for the last time perhaps (as it is moving to Abu Dhabi in 2014).
The theme of this year's conference was 'Tackling the Challenges in Avionics: Single Sky Many Platforms,' which continued to focus on the growth in air traffic across Europe and challenges arising for air traffic management and navigation. However, rather than continuing to focus on the regulatory challenges as in 2012 (which I have discussed previously), there was a shift in emphasis towards the implementation of technologies such as SESAR.
One of the keynote speakers, Captain Sascha Unterbarnscheidt, A320 Captain and Director Operations Support, Lufthansa Germany made some very interesting observations in his address 'Single European Sky - Delivery to Daily Operations.' In particular, how the fragmented European air space (compared to the United States), led to ATM inefficiencies in 2011 resulting in 17.9m minutes of ATM delays, 8.1m tonnes of wasted CO2, and increased costs of around 5billion Euros (with the effect on passengers of delayed flights, longer flight times, wasted fuel and increased noise). He then went on to explain how the increased levels of automation and productivity through SESAR would result in increased capacity, reduced costs and lower accident rates.