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Skyguide optimises route network within Swiss airspace

Skyguide, Switzerland’s air navigation service provider, is introducing ten more-direct transit routes through its airspace which would save around 1,000 kilometres of flight per day.

Geneva, 8 March 2012. Skyguide, Switzerland’s air navigation service provider, is introducing ten more-direct transit routes through its airspace today. The new routes should save around 1,000 kilometres of flight per day. The opportunity is also being taken to bring more separation to existing routes, a move that will simplify skyguide’s air traffic management and monitoring activities. These optimisations of the present route network form part of the current work aiming to harmonise Europe’s airspace.
The new and more efficient transit routes through skyguide airspace have been made possible by the company’s collaborations within the Functional Airspace Block Europe Central (FABEC) undertaking, in which the air navigation service providers of Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland have been working for several years now to create a common airspace block. The FABEC partners and Eurocontrol, Europe’s umbrella organisation for ensuring safe air traffic management, identified 50 frequently-used routes between prime airport pairs that entailed major deviations for their users – such as Amsterdam-Madrid and Paris-Munich – and set out to optimise them.
“We are very pleased to be able to make our contribution to optimising the prime traffic flows within FABEC and thereby offer our customers more direct transit routes,” says Xavier Heinzer, the head of skyguide’s Zurich air traffic control operations. “We have also taken the opportunity to bring greater separation to our existing routes, which will substantially facilitate the work of our air traffic controllers.” The shorter transit routes are flown on average by more than 550 aircraft every day. Their modification will save some 1,000 kilometres of flight per day and over three tonnes of fuel. This in turn means both lower costs for the airlines involved and, on the environmental front, fewer CO2 emissions.
As is customary with any modifications of this kind, skyguide will initially reduce its system capacity in the Eastern Swiss airspace concerned for safety reasons. This capacity will then be gradually restored to its usual levels over the following few days. To minimise delays, additional controllers will be assigned for duty at skyguide’s Dübendorf control centre during the period concerned.

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