Future Airspace Strategy (FAS) - Implications for an Average Flight

How the FAS will improve the efficiency of day to day flights

With the FAS system airlines, airports and air traffic control share data making it easier for everyone to know what’s happening.

Flight planning

Accurate information about when aircraft are departing is valuable to get the maximum use of scarce runway capacity. Air Traffic Control uses it to plan how the airspace will be used over the next few hours and airport teams use it to manage their workload and make sure they are not the reason for a delay. So overall the ‘system’ will cause less delay.

Take off and ascent

By modernising the airspace systems through FAS once the aircraft has taken off it would make maximum use of its climb performance, getting higher quicker. This reduces the noise footprint to those near the airport and means the aircraft reaches its efficient high cruise altitude much more quickly.

Improved fuel efficency

Once into the airspace system aircraft currently use a complicated set of routes that can mean them flying many extra miles. Under the simplified structure of FAS aircraft can integrate into the air traffic control system with fewer changes and more direct routes– this saves on fuel and therefore cost to the airlines and the environment in CO2.

Reduction in delays

These direct routings and better liaison throughout the UK /Ireland Functional Airspace Block would mean that more flights will arrive on time and generally arrival times are more predictable.

Throughout the journey air traffic controllers are managing the progress of flights to be able to remove extensive holding and delay at the end of the journey. As well as benefiting those on board, this also reduces the noise and CO2 impact for everyone else.

In the future as aircraft approach to land they will use satellite guidance, known as Performance Based Navigation (PBN), instead of ground based radio navigation aids, meaning the aircraft flies a much more accurate path. PBN allows the UK’s complicated, busy airspace to be fundamentally re-designed, increasing safety, capacity and efficiency.