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During large European research projects HYBRIDGE and iFly, innovative complexity science techniques have been developed and applied to airborne self-separation concepts of operations. In order to understand and improve the emergent behaviours of SESAR2020+ at multiple time scales, the EMERGIA project will use these innovative complexity science techniques. This way EMERGIA aims to dramatically reduce the risks that negative emergent behaviours have to be repaired late at huge operational costs, and will shorten the period needed to optimize the system architecture and design of SESAR2020+.

The most advanced airborne self-separation concept of operations studied within iFly, makes use of similar 4D planning and tactical layers as SESAR2020+, though fully airborne. Application of the innovative complexity science techniques to this advanced airborne-self separation has shown that its 4D planning and tactical layers work so well together that this leads to very powerful positive emergent behaviours, even beyond expectations of the concept developers. As a result of these powerful positive emergent behaviours, the advanced airborne self-separation concept considered can safely accommodate very high en route traffic demands. This raises the question how these powerful emergent behaviours can be maintained while moving the 4D planning layer and the tactical layer to the ground, as is the case with SESAR2020+. EMERGIA is expected to answer this research question.