Efficiency gains from EU airspace update

Aircraft operators can now enjoy the benefits of the H24 cross-border free route airspace operations in the upper airspace of Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Germany.

The implementation of cross-border free route airspace by Eurocontrol’s Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC) and by DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung’s Karlsruhe Upper Area Control Centre (KUAC) – two of Europe’s major air navigation service providers – has unlocked thousands of new route options, irrespective of existing airspace boundaries, in a move designed to bring about significant optimised routings, fuel savings and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

According to Eurocontrol, the new direct route options will further increase flight efficiency for most flights overflying Germany and the Benelux countries. Airspace users will be able to explore additional flight planning options, including long cross-border direct routes connecting the UK with Poland, for example, in one stretch without having to plan along intermediate points within
MUAC/KUAC airspace.

It will also be possible to use cross-border direct routes of different lengths to optimise flight trajectories according to wind patterns and to circumnavigate closed or congested airspace.

The objective of free route airspace is to allow airspace users to plan their routes more closely to their desired flight profiles in comparison with the published ATS routes and direct routes. This results in greater cost efficiency and reduces the impact of aviation on the environment by decreasing fuel burn and greenhouse gas emissions.

Commenting on the initiative, Drik Mahns, chief operating officer at DFS, said: “The cross-border interconnections of the free route airspace over Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Germany are another important step in a series of activities for a comprehensive free route airspace in the heart of Europe and for a more environmentally friendly air traffic. With the new route options, airlines have the possibility to realise flexible but at the same time reliable planning procedures.”

Feature image accredited to NATS media library. Article image accredited to Eurocontrol

Author: FTN Editor

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