Honeywell to help digitize the skies through new R&D programs in Europe

Honeywell will participate in new research and development projects under the SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking partnership and its Digital European Sky program. The projects will see the development of innovative solutions focused on advanced levels of automation in all types of airspaces to improve operational efficiency and sustainability through new or improved ways of working.

Of the selected project proposals, Honeywell will lead two consortiums:

  • Project OperA, which stands for Operate Anywhere, will be executed by a consortium led by Honeywell. Its ambition is to enable the safe accommodation of advanced air mobility (AAM) in European Air Traffic Management (ATM) and U-space.


The consortium will develop and validate several AAM solutions addressing the ecosystem of manned air-taxi and unmanned cargo cross-border operations. Honeywell’s contribution will focus on the development of autonomy-enabling technologies, including an energy-efficient approach with a ground control station, high-integrity precision navigation, and detect-and-avoid technology for AAM aircraft. These technologies will play an integral part in the ecosystem of crewed air taxi and uncrewed cargo cross-border operations.

  • Project DARWIN, which stands for Digital Assistants for Reducing Workload & Increasing collaboration, is the other Honeywell-led project. It looks at AI-based automation for cockpit and flight operations as a key enabler for first the extended minimum crew operations (eMCO) and then the single pilot operations (SPO) and a fully autonomous flight.

The project aims to develop AI-powered digital assistants and human-AI collaboration framework to support both eMCO and SPO operations, ensuring the same (or higher) level of safety and same (or lower) workload as operations with a full crew today. The project will deliver solutions that enable operational efficiency, taking into account the complexity of the future airspace. The results will support the commercial and operational viability of all airspace users.

“Honeywell is excited to work on programs that will bring higher levels of automation in aviation, drive sustainability and open up opportunities for innovation in European aerospace. Alongside our European partners, we look forward to developing and accelerating the adoption of the most cutting-edge technological solutions to manage conventional aircraft, drones, air taxis and vehicles flying at higher altitude,” said David Shilliday, vice president and general manager, Urban Air Mobility and Unmanned Aerial Systems, Honeywell Aerospace.

“Innovative and ambitious projects such as these provide a great opportunity to apply our experience in leading and collaborating on international research to a variety of projects, each with a different technological focus but with the common goal of advancing operational efficiencies toward a more efficient and sustainable future for aviation,” said Jan Ludvik, Engineering Director – Advanced Technology Europe, Honeywell Aerospace.

Honeywell will also contribute to other Digital European Sky projects and looks forward to sharing the details of this participation as projects are launched. The SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking is an institutionalized European partnership between private and public sector partners to accelerate through research and innovation the delivery of the Digital European Sky. To do so, it is harnessing, developing and accelerating the takeup of the most cutting-edge technological solutions to manage conventional aircraft, drones, air taxis and vehicles flying at higher altitudes.


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