During the years 2013 and 2014, 411 direct routings (DCTs) of different length and availability were implemented in FABEC airspace within the framework of the FABEC-wide Free Route Programme (FRA). A great amount of them are cross border DCTs. Most of them are located in the airspace which is controlled by the control centres of Karlsruhe and Maastricht. This major step in free route implementation in FABEC paves the way for long range DCT involving more than 2 control centres or ANSPs, supported by a certain degree of flexible use of airspace.
Based on data provided by the Network Manager (Eurocontrol) an analysis has shown that these new routes can shorten flights tracks by 1.8 million nautical miles compared to the flight plan. Translated in fuel consumption, this corresponds to savings of about 11 million kg of fuel. CO2 emissions can be reduced by 36.8 million kg. The performance analysis is based on a traffic sample of two representative weeks in 2014. The usage of the routes and the related gains are dependent on the use of the improved route structure. Current data show that by no means all flights in FABEC airspace are using the shortest available routing as for example modern flight planning systems propose the most cost-efficient route to the airspace user taking into account additional factors such as wind or route charges.