[Avionics Today 02-26-2016] The United Kingdom-Ireland Functional Airspace Block (FAB) has successfully concluded a trial of the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) concept of dynamic sectorization — the tactical switching of air traffic services between providers — proving a key concept for the next generation of Air Traffic Management (ATM).
The UK-Ireland FAB launched the first ever Dynamic Sectorization Operational Trial (DSOT) in 2014. The first phase of the trial, which completed in late 2014, saw the Irish Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP), IAA, deliver Air Traffic Control (ATC) services in a portion of U.K. airspace on a trial basis.
The second phase of the trial, which has recently concluded, involved the tactical switching of a piece of Irish airspace between the Irish and U.K. ATM systems, with U.K. ATCs at NATS live shadowing a portion of Irish airspace and both Irish and U.K. controllers working closely to assess the impact of real time dynamic sectorization of airspace. This second phase of the trial enabled the ANSPs to complete all remaining objectives of the project. The findings of the trial will help extend the provision of Free Route Airspace (FRA) across U.K.-Ireland FAB airspace by informing the introduction of FRA, which already exists in Irish airspace, into U.K. airspace.