Published on November 5th, 2017 | by Mark Dwyer


IAA Extends Shannon’s Free Route Airspace into Lower Airspace

The IAA has successfully introduced the extension of Shannon’s Free Route Airspace (FRA) into Shannon’s lower airspace, building on the success of FRA, which has been operational since 2009 in the Shannon Upper Information Region (UIR), Shannon Oceanic Transition Area (SOTA) and Northern Oceanic Transition Area (NOTA).

IAA ANSP has now extended FRA into the lower airspace below flight level 245, following a consultation with stakeholders and a successful simulation. The project went live for the first time on 12th October.

It is hoped that this expansion of FRA will allow customers operating in the lower airspace to file the most optimum trajectory available with a view to realising savings in the areas of fuel burn and CO2.

Peter Kearney, IAA Director of ATM Operations and Strategy said; “Our focus is on delivering cost efficient ATM services for the benefit of customers and we expect that the extension of Free Route Airspace into lower airspace will meet that overall objective. I am confident that this innovative development will further improve operational efficiency and enhance safety in Irish airspace. I am very pleased that this initiative will support our Northern European partners as part of the Borealis Alliance FRA Project.”

A review of the implementation of the project will take place following 3 months of operation to see if any further benefits can be achieved.

This expansion of free route forms part of the Borealis Alliance FRA Project with the project forming one of the seven steps of the Borealis FRA Programme, enabling airline and business aviation customers to plan and take the most cost effective, fuel efficient and timely routes across the entire airspace managed by the nine Borealis Alliance members.

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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