SESAR Deployment Manager and European Space Agency sign Memorandum of Cooperation

Brussels, Belgium, Thursday, 19th July 2018 – SESAR Deployment Manager and the European Space Agency (ESA) have today signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) marking the start of the collaboration between both organisations.

The MoC will see both organisations coordinate over the deployment of the satellite-based communication system (Iris) and SESAR Deployment in Europe.

A special focus of the cooperation will be on the use of satellite and Iris as a complementary datalink air-ground communication technology.

Iris is currently undergoing flight trials which are meeting their technical objectives. This demonstrates that ESA is on track for Iris to deliver an initial service in 2020 as a result of the current contract in place.

Signing the Memorandum of Cooperation sets out the basis for efficient cooperation between SESAR Deployment Manager and ESA as both organisations address their respective responsibilities on the deployment of SESAR and the satellite-based communication system that helps to enable it.

This is an important cooperation, addressing key parts of the short, medium, and long-term development of the Single European Sky. As such it will bring profound benefits for European citizens, industry and Member States for decades to come.

Both directors concluded to be looking forward to a long and fruitful cooperation.

Magali Vaissiere, Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications at ESA said: “It is hard to overstate the impact this new application of satellite technology will have on modern air travel.

“We have been working on the Iris programme with our industrial partners for several years, and are happy to now be moving forward into the next project stages, enlarging our cooperation to include, SESAR Deployment Manager, with the shared aim of improving both the European economy and the lives of European citizens in a very tangible way.”

Nicolas Warinsko, General Manager, SESAR Deployment Manager said: “This is another important MoC SESAR Deployment Manager is concluding as part of an ongoing strategy to involve all key stakeholders in the deployment of SESAR, making sure we can timely deliver air traffic management modernisation in Europe.

“I am very proud that ESA is joining today, giving a strong signal of their commitment in delivering the Single European Sky together and supporting SESAR Deployment Manager in its role as Data Link Service implementation project manager.”


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Iris will provide a safe and secure text-based data link between pilots and air traffic control (ATC) networks using satellite technology. The programme is developed under a public-private partnership between ESA and Inmarsat, and will help relieve pressure on the aviation sector’s congested radio frequency communication channels. It will so as part of the European Commission’s Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) masterplan to modernise Europe’s air traffic management. (credit: European Space Agency)

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Nicolas Warinsko, General Manager, SESAR Deployment Manager and Magali Vaissiere, Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications at ESA, sign a Memorandum of Cooperation. (credit: SESAR Deployment Manager)


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About SESAR Deployment Manager

The SESAR Deployment Manager (SDM) function is defined by the Article 9 of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) N°409/2013.

Under the oversight of the European Commission, the SDM function consists of the synchronisation and the coordination of the deployment of the Common Projects. A Common Project is a Commission Implementing Regulation which mandates the implementation of the most essential operational changes in the European ATM Master Plan by the Member States of the European Union and their operational stakeholders.

The first Common Project is known as the Pilot Common Project (PCP) and is defined by the Regulation (EU) N°716/2014. The SDM synchronises and coordinates implementation against the SESAR Deployment Programme which is a project view of the Common Projects organising their implementation into optimum sequences of activities by all the stakeholders required to implement. To develop and maintain the SESAR Deployment Programme in close consultation with all the stakeholders is another important task under the SDM function.

The SDM function is performed by the SESAR Deployment Alliance (SDA). The SDA is a “Not-for-Profit” International Association (AISBL) set-up under Belgian Law and composed of leading airlines, airports and air navigation service providers – the managers and users of Europe’s airspace. They are committed to the principle of the Single European Sky and to deploying the technologies that will deliver it to create customer and environmental efficiencies. SDA currently coordinates the implementation of 300 Air Traffic Management modernization projects of which 74 already completed and bringing benefits to the European passenger.

For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter @SESAR_DM, or follow us on LinkedIn

Let’s deliver together.


About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space.

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 22 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Slovenia is an Associate Member.

ESA has established formal cooperation with six Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. It is working in particular with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes as well as with Eumetsat for the development of meteorological missions.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.

Today, it develops and launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space. ESA also has a strong applications programme developing services in Earth observation, navigation and telecommunications.

Learn more about ESA at

Press contacts

SESAR Deployment Manager:
Cliff Van Craen |
+32 478 81 81 71

European Space Agency:

Antonio Garutti |