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Flexible Airspace Management and Free Route


Once awarded this VLD shall establish a limited set of connected SESAR high-technology demonstration platforms in relation to the “Advanced Air Traffic Services” key feature of the SESAR 2020 programme.

This VLD shall aim at a minimum at a demonstration in a close-to-operational environment including the preparation and platform availability to support demonstrations in targeted operational environments involving end-users. The involvement of additional end-users to perform the related operational demonstration will be contracted through open calls that will be awarded in a second step and will run in parallel.

This VLD will demonstrate multi FAB Free Route within low to high complexity environments including interfaces with adjoining airspace. This VLD shall focus in particular at the following:

  • Direct Routing operations in low to high complexity context with special focus on interface with Free Route Airspace

  • Free Routing operations in low to medium complexity context

  • Switch between Free Routing Operations and Direct Routing Operations

  • Vertical transition from Direct Routing Airspace/Free Routing Airspace to adjoining airspace. To that end special attention should be paid to extended arrival sequencing as the implementation of advanced tools possibly could increase complexity.

The demonstration shall include military operations adjusted to airspace scenario (examples can be found in FABs with already implemented Free Route concepts).

Elements of flexible airspace management should be included.

Combined operation of Flexible Airspace Management and Free Route (FRA) enable airspace users to fly as closely as possible to their preferred trajectory without being constrained by fixed airspace structures or fixed route networks. It further allows operations that require segregation, for example military training, to take place safely and flexibly, and with minimum impact on other airspace users.

This project is an integral part of the SESAR Solutions delivery approach towards the SESAR deployment phase. The objective of this VLD is to bridge “industrial research” and “deployment” related to the PCP ATM Functionality 3 (as defined in Commission Implementing Regulation EU No 716/2014), and not to replace either type of activity.

This VLD will assess the benefit of Flexible Airspace Management and Free Route to improve ATM Network performance; it will serve as Proof of Concept for AF#3 as defined in the PCP.

The Proof of Concept to be conducted under this VLD is a confidence building exercise that comes in addition to the traditional validation required prior to certification and implementation of new concepts or new technologies. This has to be distinguished from operational live trials since it brings a new dimension of the validation: early operations with a significant scale environment.

The Proof of Concept consists in an early operation of the SESAR Solutions making use of pre-operational or operational products (airborne and ground) in a real operational environment.