More cross-border free route airspace initiatives planned for 2024

FAB CE airspace managers are planning major extensions to cross-border free route airspace (FRA) areas for 2024.

On 21 March 2024 cross-border operations linking the South East Common Sky Initiative Free Route Airspace (SECSI FRA) area - the free route airspaces of Austria, Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia - and Free Route Airspace Italy (FRAIT) are planned, with a further expansion of FRA operations to Mediterranean in 2026. This will be one of the biggest FRA projects in NM area in 2024, allowing the airspace users flight planning options equal to full merge of the two FRA areas (SECSI FRA and FRAIT).

Meanwhile, cross-border operations along part of the SECSI FRA and SEEFRA (the South East Europe Free Route Airspace area covering the upper airspaces of Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia) are planned for the end of next year. Austrian airspace as part of SECSI FRA will be linked in cross border operations with Czech, Hungarian and Slovakian airspace, involving extensive coordination between Vienna, Prague, Bratislava and Budapest ATC centres.

The SEE FRA programme was implemented in November 2019 and expanded in January 2021, allowing aircraft operators to plan their flights freely across the airspace of Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia 24/7 without the limitations of geographical boundaries. In 2023 the Czech Republic joined the the programme, guaranteeing aircraft operators free airspace flights from the Black Sea to the German border, with further expansion of FRA operations to Poland and Scandinavia planned at the same time as Vienna, Prague, Bratislava and Budapest ACC cross border operations.

“This latest extension to FRA cross border operations will offer airspace users even more opportunities to plan direct flights, reducing fuel burn and emissions.,” said Matej Eljon, FAB CE Programme Manager and Director of FAB CE Aviation Ltd.

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