In five days’ time, hence on 27 January 2022 MATS will achieve yet another important Single European Sky (SES) milestone in its development of the upper airspace to enable airlines and other operators to use the shortest possible routes and trajectories when overflying the Malta FIR.
The first phase of the Free Route Airspace Malta (FRA Malta) saw the introduction of free route airspace from FL305 and above. This airspace project was implemented in accordance with the Single European Sky regulations ahead of time. In this second phase, Malta ATS will extend the availability of Free Route Airspace to all operators from FL195+ (from 20,000 feet and above). Direct routes will now be available at lower levels, leading to improved fuel efficiency and reduced carbon emissions to all aircraft normally operating at these levels.
The size of the Malta FIR which spans from Crete in the east to Tunis in the west gives the opportunity for airlines to use optimum flight profiles making it even more attractive for transcontinental flights from the US mainland to the Persian Gulf.
The implementation of this airspace project will pave the way for another major airspace project which will introduce fuel-saving routes through the continuous climb and continuous descent profiles for aircraft arriving and departing from MIA. This project called INTRAC is planned for implementation in 2023.