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ATC Amsterdam 2012

Free Route
Opportunities and challenges for

Head of Operations Planning Unit
Directorate Network Management
Network Co-ordination

Significant network co-ordination

Harmonise applicability of all initiatives

Implementation of Free Route operations in adjacent airspace
Harmonise flight planning requirements
Transition between Free Route and non-Free Route airspace
IFPS/ATFCM aspects
Civil/military aspects
Ensure enhanced interconnectivity between various projects

Agreed Concept of Operations for Free Route

Agreed Free Route Airspace Concept

Agreed European Free Route Airspace Concept

Integrated in the European ARN Version 7
Integrated in the European Route Network Improvement Plan

Main purpose of the concept:

Does not call for mandatory implementation of Free Route Airspace

Calls for harmonised implementation
Whenever States/ANSPs/FABs decide to implement
Does not address local system support aspects
Considered to be covered by States/ANSPs/FABs deciding to
Supports harmonised development of network systems
Network systems cannot cope with different/diverging requirements
Network systems gradually upgraded 2009-2011

By 2014

Free Route in 16 ACCs

25% of the NM Area

25000 NM/day
(equivalent of 600 flights)

7.5 million NMs

45000 tons of fuel
150000 tons of CO2 less
37 million EUROs savings

Concept of Operations
Harmonised implementation
For States/ANSPs/FABs ready to implement
Moving towards implementation

More initiatives move towards implementation

Cross border implementation is considered

Practical implementation aspects addressed

Accelerate and facilitate implementation
Harmonised implementation
Good network connectivity
Seamless operations

Expansion opportunities addressed

Including cross border

Common Means for FRA Publication

Harmonised publication of FRA projects in national AIPs

FRA-related harmonised abbreviations and definitions in AIP GEN 2.2
FRA general procedures in AIP ENR 1.3
FRA airspace structures, including sectors and ATS delegation, in AIP
ENR 2.1/2.2.
FRA related significant points in AIP ENR 4.4 and publication on all
appropriate maps
Update of the appropriate charts in AIP ENR 6

ADR evolutions towards Free Route

EAD is ready to accommodate FRA implementation

FRA Connectivity

No operational need for FIR boundary points for cross border FRA

For vertical connectivity to/from TMAs:

Publication of extended STARs/SIDs or published ATS routes are
acceptable options
Clear publication of these airspace structures is required

For vertical connectivity with adjacent airspace:

Publication of a grid of points
Mainly by keeping existing 5LNC points

For horizontal connectivity, flight planning purposes, avoidance of

special areas
Maintenance of a grid of significant points
Possibility of using lat/long remains
Use of lat/long linked to gradual implementation of data link

FRA Connectivity

Observance of the minimum sector altitude and terrain clearance

Aspects related to ATS delegation need to be addressed

FRA applies in the entire AoR of an ATS unit, including the areas
where ATS is delegated

Cross border DCTs flight planning allowed in case of cross-border FRA

FLOS inconsistencies are addressed and corrected

Harmonized time availability of FRA across the European network

Coordination through the Network Manager

ATM Procedures

Existing ICAO ATM procedures sufficient to allow FRA implementation

AIS publications must provide clear harmonised procedures for FRA flight planning

ICAO flight planning provisions on insertion of significant points must be observed

Procedures for ATC clearances for cross border FRA implementation need to be
reviewed and harmonised

Aspects related to position information, radar vectoring, use of deferred

clearances/instructions, submission of a flight plan in flight, re-routing need to be
addressed in case of the utilization of lat/long
The agreement to use published significant points diminishes the impact of the
use of lat/long on these procedures

Aspects related to air/ground communications failure and other special situations

Coordination through the Network Manager

ATS Delegation, LoAs

Need for a clear publication in national AIS documents

In volumes of airspace where ATS is delegated, States should allow FRA

operations if the ATS unit to which ATS was delegated has implemented FRA

Appropriate operational arrangements must be facilitated to avoid complex

operational situations related to ATS delegation

ASM Dimension

Widespread application of FRA will require maximum ASM harmonisation

Updated ASM Guidance materials on Alternative methods needed in FRA

Dynamic airspace management (DAM)
Early access to weekend routes
Prior coordination procedures (PCA)
Reduced coordination airspace (RCA)
Position and extent of SA

The maintenance of significant points helps in providing solutions for special airspace

The re-design of some special airspace might be required as a result of FRA

For wider application of FRA, information sharing essential:

Active airspace to be notified to the Network Manager and published
All actors will need to have access to the latest available information
Information needed in electronic form
Would necessitate all parties having capability to process this information
AOs and flight plan service providers must have access to all relevant airspace
availability data in both pre-tactical and tactical phases

Flight Planning Aspects

Clear publication of FRA airspace information and data in national AIPs

For flight planning purposes, to avoid special areas, etc the maintenance of
a grid of significant points is a realistic option

For FRA operations, airspace data exchange between AOs, CFPSPs and
network systems should be facilitated through B2B support

National publication of FRA route extensions at national not required

ATFCM Aspects
When Free Route operations are planned within a part of ATC Unit Airspaces
(AUA) or groups of them (AUAG), lateral segmentation accommodated

There is a need to work collectively with neighbours and the Network Manager
to address all the implementation actions well in advance
Pre-validation activities to start well in advance with the Network Manager
Check list of actions already developed

There is a need to address evolution of RAD towards airspace availability

There is a need for a consistent and constant review of traffic flows in Free Route
Airspace and to consequently update the airspace structures and the associated
strategic ATFCM measures (e.g. RAD)
Reconsideration of RAD restrictions is required in case of maintenance of
the fixed route network

Importance will be placed upon:

Pre-tactical flight plan intentions (Demand Data Repository),
Earlier FPL submission and
Tactical adherence to FPLs

Real Radar Data
Thursday - 8 July 2011

Why not thinking about cross-border expansion ?

SE Area - Free Route 24H FL245+

N Area - Free Route 24H FL245+

Free-Route Initiatives Portugal
Proposal: 64_30 (Portugal Free Route Airspace Concept)

State(s): Portugal

Implementation: 7 MAY 2009

Potential flights: SAAM shortest ATS route assignment 773

(new or moved)

Potential savings: Daily distance saving 2496.07 NM

(compare to VST without Daily time saving 297.66 min
new ATS route/s) Daily fuel saving 15904.07 kg
Daily CO2 emission reduction 50083.31 kg

Free-Route Initiatives Ireland

Free-Route Initiatives DK/SE FAB

Free-Route Initiatives FABEC - Maastricht UAC

Free-Route Initiatives FABEC - Karlsruhe UAC