On Thursday 9 April some flight routes through Swedish airspace will be straighter. Winner in this will be the environment and the airlines as they will save money.
On this day a new system, for a trial period of two years, will be introduced allowing flights cruising at over flight level 285 (approximately 9000 metres) north of the 61 parallel (north of Gävle) to choose their own routes. -When fully introduced in 2011 we expect airlines to save about 10 flying hours per day and with each hour costing the airlines about SEK 100,000 the savings will be in the region of approximately SEK M 1 per day, says Kenneth Johansson, Manager Business Area En Route at The LFV Group. The environment will also benefit from straighter flight routes. According to calculations, carbon dioxide emissions from the most common type of aircraft, the Boeing 737/600 will be reduced by 5.8 tonnes per flying hour when using this system. Over a year carbon dioxide emissions are expected to be reduced by 17,000 tonnes by incorporating straighter flying routes. This new system is called Free Route Airspace Sweden, abbreviated FRAS. This allows pilots to plan their routes choosing the straightest path when flying over Sweden. Initially 30 flights per day are expected to use this system. The second stage will involve increasing the trial area to cover the entire Swedish airspace above flight level 285. This will be followed by a third stage in 2010 which will also include all take-offs and landings north of the 61 parallel, to be followed by the fourth and final stage in 2011 involving all traffic using the airspace above flight level 285. By introducing Free Route Airspace Sweden, LFV has taken a major and important step towards achieving one of the LFVs ten environmental points: 8 out of 10 flights in Swedish airspace will have the opportunity of choosing straighter flight routes by 2012.