Direct route options expand across several Functional Airspace Blocks

10 December 2015

47 new plannable direct routes (DCT) came into operation in continental Europe, covering the northwest-southeast axis between the United Kingdom and Hungary. In February 2016, more DCTs will be added that stretch through the UK to the Eastern borders of Ireland. The new route options stem from an initiative of FABEC (Functional Airspace Block Europe Central), which brought together experts from Austro Control, HungaroControl, Maastricht UAC and NATS under the auspices of the DFS control centre Karlsruhe in summer 2015. The objective of the initiative is to optimise the central European DCT network along the European main traffic flows in close cooperation with the Network Manager (EUROCONTROL). Today, airspace users can avail themselves of well over 1,000 DCTs in this dense airspace.

Against this backdrop, the main focus of the experts was twofold: optimising the existing DCT network along a main traffic flow stretching across several FABs, including FABEC, the UK-Ireland FAB and FAB CE; and connecting the DCT network in the dense central European airspace with the Hungarian free route airspace offering new flexible options to the airspace users. The goal is to find pragmatic solutions for the airl ines. The focus on a streamlined, implementation-driven organisation was successful – and that across several FABs.

Based on calculations of the Network Manager (EUROCONTROL), these new routes will allow airlines to save up to 785 tonnes of fuel per year. Emissions of CO2 will be reduced in the magnitude of 2,616 tonnes.

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