Free Route

FABEC has established a stepped and gradual implementation of Free Route Airspace. To ensure a harmonised process the different FABEC Air Navigation Service Providers develop and implement cross-border Free Route Airspace on the basis of a common concept of operations. The FRA implementation is realized in full cooperation with various stakeholders: the aircraft operators, the EUROCONTROL Network Manager, FABEC’s neighbouring Air Navigation Service Providers, the relevant air forces and the main Computer Flight Planning Service Providers (CFSPs).

Free Route Airspace offers optimised routings and fuel savings, and contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The environmental benefits in our airspace alone are expected to be significant.
FRA is a paradigm change in that aircraft can plan a route within a specified airspace between defined entry and exit points, including intermediate waypoints, without reference to the fixed air traffic services (ATS) route network. This is a shift from route availability to airspace availability, a major air traffic management change forming an integral part of the Single European Sky.

The project work on Direct Routings and Free Route is in a rolling MS4 status with a yearly update of the implementation report and implementation plan.  In line with the new target dates set by CP1 the FABEC project will continue until 2025.

First implementations took place in December 2017 in the Maastricht airspace managed by MUAC for night operations. In December 2018 FRA was extended to weekend operations. And on 5 December 2019 MUAC has successfully implemented H24 FRA.

read more

DFS has already implemented Full FRA H24 in EDUU North airspace above FL 285 and EDUU East Airspace above FL 315 and Full FRA Night above FL245 in all the DFS airspace in March 2018. With a gradual move towards Full FRA H24 in all DFS airspace controlled by Karlsruhe UAC in February 2021, structurally limited FRA will be available. The limitations will be gradually removed to enable optimum airspace use. The project is planned until December 2021. FRA above FL245 in AoR of Bremen ACC and Munich ACC is only possible after implementation of a very advanced ATS system, which is foreseen from 2022 onwards.

read more

Skyguide plans to implement one H24 FRA cell within its entire area of operation FL195+ in 2022. At the same time, the initial cross border FRA with DFS will be implemented.

read more

DSNA has implemented 3 H24/FL195+ FRA cells In LFBB (South-West), and in parts of LFFF (Central) and LFRR (North-West) airspace on December 2021, representing 50% of DSNA upper airspace.

Next implementations are planned as follows :

  • Feb 2023: H24 FRA FL195+ LFRR North-West step 2
  • Nov 2023 : H24 FRA FL195+ LFEE East, and LFMM South-East step 1 with 4-Flight new ATM system
  • Nov 2024-Nov 2025 : phased implementation of H24 FRA FL195+ for the remaining parts of DSNA Airspace with 4-Flight new ATM system (South East step 2 ( LFMM) + North East (Reims and a portion of LFFF beneath) + North West 3 (LFRR East and a portion of LFFF beneath)).

Media release

The concept of Free Route Airspace has been illustrated in a brief video you can find here.

To ensure smooth implementation airspace users, the Network Manager and CFSPs are working closely together. Therefore, FABEC organised an expert workshop on 12 February 2020 in Paris. The workshop focussed in particular on the implementation of FRA in the French, Swiss and German airspace. You can find all presentations here.