The Board of Directors of ENAIRE, the public air navigation manager in Spain, approved its Strategic Innovation Plan. The initiative is one of eleven that are part of «Flight Plan 2025», the company’s overall strategic plan.

ENAIRE belongs to the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda. It provides en-route control services for all operations to and from Spain, as well as for overflights through the country’s five control centers: Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Gran Canaria and Palma de Mallorca.

The approved innovation plan foresees an average annual investment of 20.6 million euros until 2025. The sum, which represents an increase of 16% over-investment in the previous five years, will be earmarked for research, development and innovation. In the sum of both periods, the total investment would amount to 103.1 million euros and would be around the average of the European Union member states.

The plan is based on two major initiatives: the implementation of an Innovation Management System and the collaboration with CRIDA, a non-profit economic interest association established by ENAIRE, as the driving force behind this innovation.

The mission of CRIDA, which also involves INECO and the Polytechnic University of Madrid, is to improve the efficiency and performance of Spain’s air traffic management system. To this end, it develops projects that provide quantifiable solutions based on system performance data. The initiatives consider the Spanish system as part of a global system.

Both institutions already cooperate in different activities. From now on, they will work together to develop solutions for the future implementation of an air traffic management (ATM) system.

The work is divided into four main areas: internal innovation, innovation in the framework of the SESAR program, open innovation, and technology watch and competitive intelligence.

Internal innovation

Main projects are the Startical (constellation of satellites to provide voice and data communications services and ADS-B surveillance), iTEC (alliance with German and UK air navigation providers and other European providers, developing air traffic system interoperability), and iFOCUCS (new position of the SESAR satellite system in the European Union), iFOCUCS (ENAIRE’s new air traffic control position), U-Space (advanced use of drones and Urban Air Mobility), Flow Tools (the ecosystem of tools custom-designed by and for air traffic units), Digital Tower and HERON (automation of company processes).

The SESAR program

The Single European Sky ATM Research includes the modernization phase of air traffic management in Europe, in the framework of the Single European Sky, the EU’s initiative to integrate management across the continent.

Open innovation

ENAIRE declares to favor the contribution of external talent. To this end, it will offer scholarships and promote start-ups, among other initiatives.

Technology watch and competitive intelligence

ENAIRE establishes an Innovation Observatory to support knowledge management and the integration of new technologies into the institution’s tasks.

See also: The Spanish Government authorizes the deployment of 132 new air traffic control positions

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