New plan for European airspace to save fuel and reduce emissions
Friday 2, July 2010
EUROCONTROL has released its implementation plan for short-term airspace structure improvements for the Summer 2010 season.
It includes 217 packages of airspace changes developed over the past year, each of which will contribute to improved performance of European Air Traffic Management.
Continuous upgrading of the route network and supporting ATC sectorisation in Europe is needed to meet the capacity and flight efficiency needs of air traffic and cater for the changing patterns of traffic flows. The implementation plan says that by the end of the Summer season, flying distances will have reduced by approximately 20 000 nautical miles each day, saving the airlines 40 000 tons of fuel and reducing CO2 emissions by 140 000 tons over a 12 month period.
Airspace improvements are agreed within a dedicated group comprising 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 Air Traffic Services route network, the supporting airspace sectorisation and to optimise the use of the airspace. Measures agreed are monitored by the Directors of Operations of the European air navigation service providers, through the EUROCONTROL Operations Coordination Group.
“These short-term improvements to the airspace structure are yet another means to deliver on the actions to save fuel and reduce emissions contained in the Flight Efficiency Plan we signed with CANSO and IATA in September 2008,” said Joe Sultana, Deputy Director - Network Operations Division at EUROCONTROL. “The changes will also relieve identified bottlenecks and increase overall network capacity, and represent pan-European agreed solutions demonstrating the commitment of the entire aviation industry to work together to address significant economic and environmental challenges.”
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