WATM: Austria pioneers 24/7 Free Route

Austria’s Austro Control has taken the next pioneering step towards full implementation of free route airspace, implementing “Free Route Airspace Wien” around the clock.
Within Free Route airspace, users can freely plan their routes between defined entry and exit points.
Austro Control took the first step towards implementing a “Free Route” Airspace back in October 2012. The introduction of direct routes between entry and exit points in Austrian airspace was initially limited to night flights; shorter flight routes and flying times already have meant significant improvements and savings for airspace users.
Now, working closely with the ANSPs of fellow FAB CE members (Croatia,  the Czech Republic, Slovakia,  Hungary, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina), “Free Route” operations will be offered around the clock,
Austro Control will thus enable airlines to shorten their routes by some 7,500 km, reducing flying times by roughly 500 minutes a day. This will result in daily savings of potentially around 28,800 kg of fuel and reductions in CO2 emissions of about 89,000 kg. This also represents an important contribution by Austro Control to the successful implementation of Single European Sky.
Detailed work on the final phase of the free route airspace concept in FAB CE has already begun. This will provide for comprehensive availability of direct, cross-border routes by 2018/19, reducing costs and emissions throughout FAB CE airspace.