EUROCONTROL has just finalised a three-year plan to organise European route network and airspace in a more efficient manner so as to save fuel and reduce emissions.
The plan, ARN Version 6, will be rolled out between 2008 and 2010 and contains more than 400 airspace improvement packages covering approximately 1600 route changes and more than 60 airspace re-sectorisation projects. Once the plan is fully implemented, flying distances will be reduced by approximately 12 million nautical miles. This will save the airlines 60 million Euros, reduce fuel use by 72,000 tons, and decrease CO2 emissions by 240,000 tons. Nearly a third of the measures in the plan are already in place and the rest are scheduled to be implemented over the coming two years. The improvements in the ARN Version 6 are an effective means for us of delivering on the actions contained in the Flight Efficiency Plan we signed with CANSO and IATA in September 2008, said Joe Sultana, Head of APN at EUROCONTROL. They represent pan-European agreed solutions demonstrating the commitment of the aviation industry to work together to address significant economic and environmental challenges. As a result of these improvements, the European ATS route network will be reduced by 0.3% overall and will therefore be only 3.35% longer than if the most direct routes were used. The improvements were agreed by a group comprised of 43 States and their air navigation service providers, 8 international organisations, including airspace users, and EUROCONTROL. This group meets regularly to discuss and improve the European ATS route network, the supporting airspace sectorisation and to optimise the use of the airspace. The measures that were agreed will be monitored by the Directors of Operations of the European air navigation service providers through the EUROCONTROL Operations Co-ordination Group.