Air navigation service providers (ANSPs), the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), and Iceland’s Isavia have implemented full Free Route Airspace (FRA) as part of the overall Borealis Alliance 2021 vision.
IAA and Isavia are two of the nine-member ANSPs of the Borealis Alliance.
The FRA programme will allow airline and business aviation customers to use the most cost-effective, fuel-efficient and timely routes across the entire airspace managed by Borealis members.
In 2017, three new implementation steps have been delivered en route to the final Borealis vision of FRA.
This will help provide a continuous and seamless area of FRA that would cover the airspace over Ireland, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and the UK.
Borealis FRA Programme executive director Branka Subotić said: “The work delivered by Isavia and the IAA takes us even closer to the final vision of seamless FRA across all nine Borealis members, which will enable airlines and other airspace users to make significant fuel and time savings.”
Since December 2009, the IAA has operated FRA in the Shannon Upper Information Region (UIR), the Shannon Oceanic Transition Area (SOTA), and the Northern Oceanic Transition Area (NOTA).
However, a route structure remained in Shannon’s lower airspace below flight level 245.
The IAA planned to remove the route structure in the Shannon flight information region (FIR) lower airspace and extend the FRA down to flight level 75.
In October, the route structure in the lower airspace was successfully removed.
Isavia has also built on its existing area of FRA.
The implementation of Borealis Step 2 and 3 has made additional exit/entry points available for traffic entering/exiting the Reykjavik FIR to and from Norway FIR and Scottish FIR.
UK ANSP NATS implemented additional routing options to and from Reykjavik FIR, which provided enhanced flexibility in flight planning and offered more routing options for the users, both for flights departing/arriving within the Reykjavik FIR and flights transiting through the FIR.