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European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency
News article24 October 2023European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency

CLEAN ATM (Air Traffic Management) initiative awarded €60 million to accelerate the modernisation of the European sky


Paloma Aba Garrote, Director of CINEA (the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency), Mariagrazia La Piscopia, Executive Director of the SESAR Deployment Manager (SDM) and Raúl Medina, Director General of EUROCONTROL and representing the Organisation in its role as SDM Consortium Coordinator, today signed a Grant Agreement awarding €60 million to the CLEAN ATM project.

Prepared and coordinated by the SDM in response to the 2022 Connecting Europe Facility for Transport call for proposals, CLEAN ATM represents a vital step forward in accelerating the modernisation and decarbonisation of the aviation industry in the years ahead. 

Focusing on delivering major advances in air traffic management, the initiative brings together over 40 civil and military operational stakeholders from across the European aviation ecosystem, comprising airlines, air navigation service providers, airports, meteorological providers, the EUROCONTROL Network Manager and military authorities, all united towards achieving the common objective of further decarbonising the aviation sector. 

CINEA Director Paloma Aba Garrote stated:

“The overall objective of the CEF programme is to develop, modernise and complete trans-European networks, taking into account the Union's long-term decarbonisation commitments and the objectives of the European Green Deal. The "CLEAN ATM" project has been selected to accelerate the adoption of the Common Project One Regulation, under the well-established coordination of the SESAR Deployment Manager. Tangible results are expected in terms of reduced fuel consumption, decreased CO2 emissions, and shortened travel times for passengers. In doing so, we are contributing to smart, sustainable and inclusive economic growth. I look forward to hearing about the progress made by the Clean ATM project over time and the successful results achieved for the benefit of all citizens.”

Mariagrazia La Piscopia, Executive Director at SESAR Deployment Manager said:

“CLEAN ATM is a further strong sign that operational stakeholders are fully committed towards SESAR deployment and its decarbonisation objectives. Our role is now to support the awarded organisations, in their endeavours to make ATM modernisation and digitalisation deliver results in daily operations. 

I am convinced that through further coordinated and synchronised SESAR deployment and together with all aviation partners acting as one team, we are making ATM smarter, interoperable, safer, more resilient, and more environmentally sustainable every day.”

EUROCONTROL Director General Raúl Medina stated:

“As Consortium Coordinator of the SESAR Deployment Manager, EUROCONTROL welcomes this step forward in the modernisation of European air traffic management. This signature marks another important milestone in our joint vision to make our industry perform better. It is also a recognition of our successful partnership and our joint commitment towards ensuring a sustainable, modern and digitalised European aviation sector”.


This project was selected in June 2022 as one of the transport projects to receive a European grant from the CEF (Connecting Europe Facility), which is the main instrument supporting strategic transport investments in the European Union. 

With a grant worth €60 million, CLEAN ATM is the largest of the ATM-related projects selected by the EU, adding to the existing set of approximately 350 Implementation Projects under the coordination of the SESAR Deployment Manager.

CLEAN ATM will help in accelerating the adoption of ATM functionalities and technologies, including:

  • Extended Airport Operations Plan and its integration with the Network Operations Plan – the adoption of a rolling plan for major European hubs which will help reduce congestion, delays, unnecessary carbon and noise emissions, and improve overall passenger experience.
  • Free Route Airspace, an operational concept that allows aircraft to fly shorter and more direct routes when crossing European airspace regardless of national borders, reducing flight times, and allowing for a significant reduction in CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.
  • System Wide Information Management, a set of common standards, protocols and services to further digitalise the aviation industry, opening the door to further automation and the delivery of efficiencies in the way air traffic management is run on a daily basis.

When combined, these technologies will enable air traffic management in Europe to become smarter, interoperable, safer, more resilient and more environmentally sustainable.