|Photo: SESAR JU
[Avionics Magazine 09-02-2016] Free Route Environmental & Efficient (FREE) route operations are possible in Europe and can significantly reduce flight, times, congestions and the impact to the environment. This was the main conclusion of a recent workshop organized by the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) FREE Solutions demo consortium. The event showcases the project results achieved to date and shares the views and experiences of industry, operational and business stakeholders.
FREE Solutions is one of several large-scale demonstration projects the SESAR Joint Undertaking launched at the end of 2014 with the aim to bridge SESAR development activities with deployment, proving the benefits of SESAR solutions in real-life environments. Against this background, in 2014 a large group of airlines and Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP) decided to work together to demonstrate the SESAR free route concept and several focused operational solutions.
The Rome workshop showcased successful integrated flight trials results as well as what is expected in terms of deployment activities. The event was an opportunity to debate the results with a wide range of stakeholders, such as airspace users, service providers, national authorities, manufacturing industries, professional staff associations, military authorities and other Air Traffic Management (ATM) stakeholders.
Between 2014 and 2016, the project performed several flight trials sessions managing more than 1,000 flights. The two-year project focused on preparation and flight trials activities to demonstrate that direct routes and initial free routing (in low and medium density) operations are possible in Europe and can help reduce flight times, congestion and the impact on the environment.
During this timeframe, a wide campaign of live trials took place to assess the operational impact of city pairs, direct routing and initial free routing (for low to medium density). The campaign involved a high-level consortium composed by: ENAV (project coordinator), Air France, Alitalia, DFS, DSNA, EUROCONTROL/Network Manager, Lufthansa, MATS, Ryanair, skyguide and Swiss. HOP! and KLM participated in the project as third parties of Air France, with SICTA as affiliates of ENAV.