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Scottish ATCs Make Way for Direct Route Airspace

By Juliet Van Wagenen | March 6, 2015
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Workers at Prestwick ATC Center
Workers at Prestwick ATC Center. Photo: NATS Press Office

[Avionics Today 03-06-2015] Airlines can now choose their own direct routes through parts of Scottish airspace with the introduction of a new technique to cut flying times and up fuel efficiency. The project, led by Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) at NATS Prestwick Centre, allows airlines to plan more efficient direct routes, as opposed to being limited to the traditional airspace structure.

Up to 300 direct routes are now available to operators, giving flight planners greater choice on their specific flight path while allowing them to better avoid bad weather and take advantage of favorable winds. The airspace change, which is initially implemented in two areas of upper airspace above 25,500 ft to the west of Scotland, aims to help around 400,000 aircraft each year cut journey times, reduce fuel burn and save CO2 emissions through new direct routes.

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