Savings for carriers of 1.5 million nautical miles (2.7 million kilometres), 30,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide and 9,000 tonnes of fuel have been claimed by the European Free route airspace Maastricht and Karlsruhe (FRAMAK) project.
The project’s work has helped create a free route airspace over Belgium, most of Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. The airspace has been organised by collaboration between German air navigation sevice provider DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung, the European air navigation safety organisation, EUROCONTROL and Lufthansa. The two air traffic control centres involved have been EUROCONTROL’s Maastricht Upper Area and Karlsruhe Upper Area (see picture), run by DFS.
The FRAMAK project took existing direct routes and linked them across borders, expanded other routes and created new ones. The total routes now on offer is 466. Of the 466, 46 per cent are available 24 hours a day, with the remainder having limited availability, mostly at night and at weekends.
The new routes allow an average course deviation of 1.7 per cent, far less than the 4.6 per cent that the EU requires. The project was sponsored by the Single European Sky Joint Undertaking, an European Union (EU) organisation that is tasked with modernising the EU nations’ air traffic system.