DFS, DSNA and skyguide, the respective German, French and Swiss air navigation service providers, have completed the operational implementation of the Functional Airspace Block Europe Central (FABEC) Extended Arrival Management (XMAN) for flights to Zurich Airport in Switzerland.

The coordination among the four control centres of Reims, Munich, Langen and Zurich has helped improve air traffic management (ATM) in FABEC airspace, reducing holding patterns usage, fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

The FABEC XMAN is one of a series of installations launched in 2015 to improve arrival flows to main airports within the FABEC region.

The primary objective of the project is to minimise the number of aircraft in holding patterns at congested airports to reduce fuel burn, carbon emissions, aircraft noise and costs.

"The primary objective of the project is to minimise the number of aircraft in holding patterns at congested airports to reduce fuel burn, carbon emissions, aircraft noise and costs."

The inbound flight optimisation to Zurich Airport is said to have resulted from improved data exchange among air traffic control (ATC) centres managing arrival flights.

Zurich’s ATC centre automatically sends arrival planning information to the en-route control centres of Reims, Munich and Langen, helping DFS and DSNA air traffic controllers to manage the arriving traffic.

Also, skyguide receives arrival planning information from the Munich area control centre for inbound flights to Munich Airport and act on the information to support air traffic controllers at the German city.

In March, the FABEC XMAN link to Munich and Langen became operational, while the link to Reims began operating in June.

Currently, the project covers more than 75% of the inbound traffic to Zurich Airport.