Development Begins on Single European Sky
The European Space Agency (ESA) recently launched the early development phase of the Single European Sky Iris program, a research initiative designed to improve air traffic management through satellite-based air-to-ground communication links. If the ESA Council approves the early development proposals next year, system development will begin in mid-2009. The Iris program is part of the Single European Sky air traffic management research (Sesar) program, adopted by the European Commission in 2004. According to ESA, satellite-based aircraft communication systems will improve communication between aircraft and air traffic controllers, reduce delays and enable optimal routing. ESA is working with many partners on the project, including Eurocontrol.