AOM21.2 — Free Route Airspace

Free Route Airspace (FRA) is a specified airspace within which users may freely plan a route between a defined entry point and a defined exit point, with the possibility to route via intermediate (published or unpublished) waypoints, without reference to the ATS route network, subject to airspace availability. Within this airspace, flights remain subject to air traffic control.

The FRA concept brings significant flight efficiency benefits and a choice of user preferred routes to airspace users. As a step to full trajectory based operations the FRA concept brings increased flight predictability, reduced uncertainty for the Network which in turn can lead to potential capacity increases for ATM which will also benefit the user.

The PCP IR requires the deployment of Free Route Airspace (FRA) within Member States' airspace of the ICAO EUR region at and above FL 310. The implementation is coordinated through the NM European Route Network Improvement Plan (ERNIP) and the Network Operations Plan following the Strategic Objectives and Targets set in the Network Strategic Plan and in the Network Manager Performance Plan. All European ANSPs have included in the ERNIP Part 2 - ARN Version 2014-2019 projects for full or partial implementation of Free Route Airspace selecting their implementation step. Within the PCP the implementation of FRA is closely linked to the deployment of Airspace Management procedures and advanced Flexible use of airspace (A-FUA).

NOTE FOR MILITARY AUTHORITIES: It is the responsibility of each Military Authority to review this ESSIP Objective IN ITS ENTIRETY and address each of the SloAs that the Military Authority considers RELEVANT for itself. This has to be done on top and above of the review of "MIL" SloAs which identify actions EXCLUSIVE to MIL Authorities.

Edition
2016
Stakeholders
Air Navigation Service Provider / Airspace Users / Network Manager
Type
PCP
Scope
ECAC
Status
Active

Applicability Area(s) and Timescales

Applicability Area:
All ECAC States except: Azerbaijan, Belgium, Luxembourg
Timescales From By Applicable to
Initial operational capability 01-01-2015 Applicability Area
Full operational capability 31-12-2021 Applicability Area

Links to PCP ATM Sub-Functionalities

References

Applicable legislation
- Regulation (EU) No 677/2011 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of air traffic management (ATM) network functions and amending Regulation (EU) No 691/2010
- Regulation (EU) No 716/2014 on the establishment of the Pilot Common Project
Applicable ICAO Annexes and other references
Annex 11, Doc 4444
Deployment Programme 2016
Family 3.2.1 - Upgrade of ATM systems (NM, ANSPs, Aus) to support Direct Routings (DCTs) and Free Routing Airspace (FRA)
Family 3.2.4 - Implement Free Route Airspace
Operating Environments

Expected Performance Benefits

Safety
Although the main benefits are expected in the area of environment the FRA implementation has the ambition to at least maintain the current level of safety.
Capacity
Increased through better airspace utilisation to and reduced controller workload.
Operational efficiency
Savings in route distances and fuel efficiency through increased use of preferred flight profiles.
Cost efficiency
-
Environment
Reductions in emissions through use of optimal routes.
Security
N/A
  Code Title From By Related Enablers
 
ASP01 Implement procedures and processes in support of the network dimension
  • 01-01-2015
  • 31-12-2021
 
ASP02 Implement system improvements
  • 01-01-2015
  • 31-12-2021
 
ASP03 Implement procedures and processes in support of the local dimension
  • 01-01-2015
  • 31-12-2021
 
ASP04 Implement transversal activities in support to operational deployment of FRA (validation, safety case and training)
  • 01-01-2015
  • 31-12-2021
 
USE01 Implement system improvements
  • 01-01-2015
  • 31-12-2021
 
USE02 Implement procedures and processes
  • 01-01-2015
  • 31-12-2021
 
USE03 Train aircrews and operational staff for FRA operations
  • 01-01-2015
  • 31-12-2021
 
NM01 Implement system improvements
  • 01-01-2015
  • 31-12-2019
 
NM02 Implement procedures and processes
  • 01-01-2015
  • 31-12-2017
Code Dates
 
1999 99
2000 00
2001 01
2002 02
2003 03
2004 04
2005 05
2006 06
2007 07
2008 08
2009 09
2010 10
2011 11
2012 12
2013 13
2014 14
2015 15
2016 16
2017 17
2018 18
2019 19
2020 20
2021 21
2022 22
2023 23
2024 24
2025 25
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
AOM21.2
 
20150101_20211231
ASP01
 
20150101_20211231
ASP02
 
20150101_20211231
ASP03
 
20150101_20211231
ASP04
 
20150101_20211231
USE01
 
20150101_20211231
USE02
 
20150101_20211231
USE03
 
20150101_20211231
NM01
 
20150101_20191231
NM02
 
20150101_20171231

Supporting Material

Title Related SLoAs

EUROCONTROL - European Route Network Improvement Plan (ERNIP) PART 3 - Airspace Management Handbook - Guidelines for Airspace Management; 11/2014

http://www.eurocontrol.int/sites/default/files/publication/files/ERNIP-ASM-Handbook-Part3.pdf

NM02

EUROCONTROL - European Route Network Improvement Plan (ERNIP) Part 1 - Free Route Airspace Concept 06/2013

http://www.eurocontrol.int/sites/default/files/content/documents/nm/airspace/ernip-part-1-airspace-design-methodology.pdf

ASP01, ASP03, ASP04, NM01, NM02, USE02

EUROCONTROL - European Route Network Improvement Plan (ERNIP) Part 2 - European ATS Route Network - Version 2013-2015 06/2013

http://www.eurocontrol.int/sites/default/files/content/documents/nm/airspace/ernip-part-2-arn-v8.pdf

NM02

Consultation & Approval

Working Arrangement in charge
NETOPS
Outline description approved in
03/2013
Latest objective review at expert level
05/2013
Commitment Decision Body
Provisional Council (PC)
Objective approved/endorsed in
07/2013
Latest change to objective approved/endorsed in
07/2014