Europe’s air navigation service providers are pushing ahead with the implementation of free route airspace—though completion is scheduled for 2024, about a year later than initially planned—with the long-term aim of boosting efficiency and unlocking cost and fuel savings.
The delays are linked to the Russian invasion of Ukraine...
The application of free route airspace (FRA) should bring about major fuel, emissions and cost savings, boosting efficiency through better routing and more flexibility for operators. With FRA, pilots are now able to plan a route between a defined entry and exit point rather than having to follow a set route mapped out by air traffic controllers.
“Realistically, it’s going to be 2024 before we have free route airspace really operable all over Europe,” Brennan said. “The Russian invasion has definitely slowed that down because there are a lot of other priorities—security issues become a top priority when you have a crisis like this.”