Route network and airspace design

We continuously accommodate air traffic demand while working to meet network performance requirements in terms of capacity and flight efficiency.

At EUROCONTROL, our mission as Network Manager (NM) is to ensure an efficient, flexible and dynamic airspace structure. This structure is based on the continuous expansion of free route operations and multi-option routeings. It is supported by adaptable air traffic control (ATC) sectorisation.

As NM, we work closely with stakeholders, through the Route Network Development Sub-Group (RNDSG), in order to make improvements to the European airspace design and structure.

The RNDSG ensures full coordination among the various stakeholders for European airspace design and development. This collaborative decision-making process begins with broad operational requirements, which are gradually refined into specific airspace design proposals for implementation.

Major deliverables

The design of the European route network calls for the establishment of a European Route Network Improvement Plan (ERNIP). The ERNIP is part of the Network Operations Plan (NOP). The ERNIP is made up of the following parts:

Tools

Our online tools allow users to ensure that their projects are aligned with the European Route Network Improvement Plan (ERNIP) and simulate network capacity planning and airspace design.

ERNIP database

European route network improvement plan database

NEST

Network strategic modelling tool

Monitoring reports

In addition, we publish the ERNIP Monitoring Report every aeronautical information regulation and control (AIRAC) cycle. These reports provide an update on the evolution of the environment indicators listed in the Network Performance Plan and plot on the progress achieved in improving airspace design, its utilisation and flight efficiency, in line with the improvement proposals implemented in the relevant AIRAC cycle.