Validation projects

Free Route through Free Routing flights both in cruise and vertically evolving

Release: 2015

Reference: -

Location: Rome


Free routing offers airspace users the possibility of planning a route according to user-defined segments (segment of great circle connecting any combination of two user defined or published waypoints.) Free Routing Airspace is an airspace defined laterally and vertically, allowing free route with a set of entry and exit features. Within this airspace, flights remain subject to air traffic control.

Description of the exercises

Real-time simulations in Toulouse and Rome will assess the operational acceptability of the free route environment, proposed services and roles (S32 and S33). Specifically, the exercises will compare the controller’s workload when dealing with free routing and direct routing traffic and establish the maximum free routing traffic load which is acceptable for controllers. Other assessments will be made of benefits yielded when a mixture of free routing and direct routing is implemented, or when complexity measures and extending air traffic control planning are used. In addition, coordination across borders, as well as operational acceptability for a proposed workaround of military zones, will also be validated.

Expected benefits 

  • Improved predictability
  • Enhanced safety
  • Increased airspace capacity
  • Improved efficiency