Cycle 2111 is out! Update your tools and add-on aircraft FMSdatabases using the FMS Data Manager, and using the Navigraph NavdataCenter for MSFS 2020 users. The current Jeppesen charts are alreadyavailable through the Navigraph Charts apps.
Have you noticed that it seems like there are fewer and fewerairways in the European airspace? Whatâ€™s going on and how does itaffect route planning in flight simulation? Read on and we will tellyou a bit about something called free route airspace (FRA).
For many years, airlines have flown on pre-defined pathways calledairways. These airways can be seen as three-dimensional highways foraircraft.
EUROCONTROL, an organisation dedicated to supporting Europeanaviation, has initiated the development and implementation of aconcept called free route airspace (FRA). The project has the aim ofovercoming the aviation sectorâ€™s efficiency, capacity andenvironmental problems.
The free route airspace is a specified airspace in which a routecan be planned freely between a defined entry and exit point. Routesthat are planned within a FRA, will only be subject to a fewlimitations, such as fixed entry and exit points and avoiding anydanger areas. Flights remain subject to air traffic control withinfree route airspaces.
By introducing the FRA, operators can plan routes more flexiblywithin an area that was previously subject to planning along airways,which typically resulted in a longer route than needed.
The FRA implementation is a gradual process. Currently, threequarters of the European airspace now have free route airspaceprojects in place. Once the FRA implementation in Europe is complete,EUROCONTROL expects that the following savings have been made:
- 500,000 nautical miles per day
- 10,000 fewer CO2 tonnes per day
- 3,000 tonnes of fuel per day
- 3 million euro in fuel cost savings per day
So what is Navigraph doing to reflect these new conditions? Asregions are moving from airways to free route airspaces, the NavigraphDevelopment Team continuously update the integrated route planner inthe Navigraph Charts apps to reflect these changes. As a result,routes in Europe will be planned with directs between waypoints to agreater extent than before. This allows for more optimized routeplanning using the Navigraph Charts apps - just like in the realworld.
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