The European Commission estimates that implementation of SESAR, the research programme for development of a new air traffic management system, will require 3 billion in EU funds over the period 2014-2024. Such funds should help draw private funding and support synchronised deployment of the system, an indispensable condition for its effectiveness. The programme's governance based on public-private partnership should be maintained in its current form, explains the Commission in a communication adopted before the year-end holidays(1).

These 3 billion would come mainly from the future Connecting Europe Facility. "Other potential sources of financing need to be explored," adds the communication, including loans from the European Investment Bank, the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) and adaptation of EU rules on charging for aviation services.

SESAR's deployment costs from 2014 are estimated at 30 billion, of which two thirds will be borne by airlines to equip their fleets. The new system is expected to generate major economic value, however, as well as significant improvements to safety, quality of service and the environment. SESAR will allow for a threefold increase in current air traffic capacity, reduce airlines' costs by 50% and cut by 10% per flight the environmental impact of aviation. These positive effects, notes the Commission, will nevertheless depend on timely and synchronised deployment of the system...

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