Free Route Airspace expands into the North Atlantic

Free Route Airspace is steadily expanding.

Now, aircraft operators can fly their preferred trajectories within the Bodø Oceanic FIR, where the Norwegian Air Navigation Services Provider Avinor is responsible for the air traffic management. This is yet another step in implementing FRA across large volumes of airspace.

The next step will take place already in May 2017 when a continuous cross-border Free Route Airspace will be available across six North European states in NEFAB and Danish-Swedish FAB. This will enable airspace users to plan and fly the most cost effective, fuel efficient and timely routes with seamless FIR boundaries.

The implementation of Free Route Airspace (FRA) over large areas passed another milestone on March 2 when FRA was implemented within Bodø Oceanic FIR between FL 195 and FL660. This FRA volume adds to existing FRA areas in the North European Functional Airspace Block (NEFAB). The close cooperation between NEFAB and Danish-Swedish FAB in the NEFRA Programme has now resulted in a FRA stretching from the north eastern part of the ICAO NAT region to the boundary of the Russian Federation.

The ultimate step in these common efforts will take place on 25 May 2017 when FRA in Norway will connect to the cross-border FRA already in operation between Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, and Sweden. In a cross-border FRA environment eligible flights are not required to enter a point on FIR boundaries in their flight plan, thereby increasing the flexibility in flight planning for optimized flight trajectories.

Free Route Airspace in Bodø Oceanic is just one step from completing the NEFRA programme in May 2017 and a step closer to seeing continuous cross-border FRA across Northern Europe by 2021 in the Borealis Alliance Free Route Airspace programme, pursued by nine air navigation service providers.

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