The Flight Efficiency concept dates back to April 2008 when the first key performance indicators referring to flight efficiency were adopted, on the recommendation of the Dynamic Management of the European Airspace Network (DMEAN) Steering Group.
In August 2008, IATA, CANSO and EUROCONTROL signed the Flight Efficiency Plan (FEP) in reaction to the fuel price crisis that summer. The FEP brought enhanced visibility to specific urgent developments to support flight efficiency and emission reduction.
The Plan provided accelerated support to the airlines operating in the European airspace during these times of fuel crisis and opened the way to a long and solid partnership between the organisations on the actions required to continuously improve and optimise the European Air Traffic Management Network. This Plan aimed at ensuring continued and balanced performance improvement for flight efficiency, capacity and emissions.
The Flight Efficiency Plan called for a partnership approach between Airlines, Air Navigation Service Providers, Airports, States Civil and Military Authorities and EUROCONTROL. The plan built on two main areas:
- Ensure a tangible improvement of the European airspace design for both en-route and terminal areas;
- Ensure a tangible improvement of airspace and airport utilisation.
The five action points of the Flight Efficiency Plan (further described in the subsequent sections of this document):
- Enhancing European en-route airspace design through annual improvements of European ATS route network, high priority being given to:
- Implementation of a coherent package of annual improvements and of shorter routes;
- Improving efficiency for the most penalised city pairs;
- Implementation of additional Conditional Routes for main traffic flows;
- Supporting initial implementation of free route airspace.
- Improving airspace utilisation and route network availability through:
- Actively support and involve aircraft operators and the computer flight plan service
- providers in flight plan quality improvements;
- Gradually applying route availability restrictions only where and when required;
- Improving the utilisation of civil/military airspace structures.
- Efficient TMA design and utilisation, through:
- Implementing advanced navigation capabilities
- Implementing Continuous Descent Approaches (CDAs), improved arrival/departure routes, optimised departure profiles, etc.
- Optimising airport operations, through:
- Implementation of Airport Collaborative Decision Making
- Improving awareness of performance