FABEC direct routings save users €352m

Pilots are benefiting daily from direct routings delivered by air traffic controllers while they’re actually flying.
With these ‘tactical directs’, controllers are eliminating a source of inefficiency that occurs when individual flight plans do not use the most efficient routing. Overall, in 2016 these tactical directs resulted in an average reduction of 15 kilometres (km) in the distance flown per flight when compared with the routing originally planned, with the average distance flown declining from 528 km to 513 km per flight.
The benefit for airspace users can be expressed in the reduction of fuel burned of 278,000 tons. That equated to €352 million in monetary savings and in terms of carbon footprint reduction, 938,000 tons of CO2.
“We are glad to provide flexible services to the airspace users,” said Michiel van Dorst, chief executive of Dutch air navigation service provider LVNL and FABEC operations champion. “The example of tactical directs demonstrates that close collaboration between all partners and at all levels is key to an efficient aviation industry – for the sake of passengers,  the European economy and the environment.”
Tactical directs are one of the means of improving the service quality of air navigation services. To manage the high complexity and congestion within their airspace, FABEC air navigation service providers have developed several flexible tools to improve operations to the greatest extent possible, such as conditional routes or seasonal procedures improving flight profiles.
The airspace of the six FABEC States of Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland is one of the busiest and most complex in the world. The majority of major European airports, major civil airways and military training areas are located in this area. FABEC airspace covers 1.7 million sq km and handles about 5.8 million flights per year – 55 per cent of European air traffic.