Avinor Flysikring AS, the Norwegian ANS provider has successfully upgraded its ATM system. The massive enhancement was accomplished on the Sunday night of January 29, and marks an important milestone towards seamless Free Route operations in the Northern Europe.
The upgrade of the total of five systems includes large number of advanced ATM functionalities. The upgrade’s key feature is support to cross-border Free Route operations; in addition it provides for a higher degree of automation and new tools for air traffic controllers.
Free Route Airspace
The complex upgrade provides the basis for cross border Free Route operations throughout the whole NEFRA - North European airspace comprising two functional airspace blocks - NEFAB (Estonia, Finland, Norway, and Latvia), and DK-SE FAB (Denmark and Sweden). On May 25 2017, Free Route Airspace in Norway will get seamlessly connected with the rest of the area establishing the largest Free Route Airspace in Europe – the only one extending across two functional airspace blocks where airlines can plan and fly their preferred trajectories across state and FAB borders. This will further extend the freedom of flight planning in the North European airspace.
The May milestone will mark completion of the NEFRA programme, a long term effort by technical and operational experts from six air navigation service providers. It will be a step closer to seeing Borealis Free Route Airspace implemented across nine states in Northern Europe through building interfaces to connect the NEFRA area further with UK-Ireland FAB and Iceland.
Cross-border Free Route operations are a significant initiative in delivering the European Commission’s vision of a Single European Sky, catering for less fragmented and more efficient ATM in Europe.
The NEFAB Programme is the cooperation between air navigation service providers Avinor (Norway), EANS (Estonia), Finavia (Finland) and LGS (Latvia). The cooperation is seeking opportunities to improve the cost efficiency of airspace and services in NEFAB for the benefit of airspace users.