Air traffic management in West of France

Published on Friday 19 January 2018
A significant change in the route network of the Brest airspace is operational since March 30th 2017.

New military zones have been implemented for aircrews’ training on the RAFALE aircraft, the reference fleet of the French army. Combined with the use of METEOR missiles which need specific skills and continuous utilization in simulated combat mode (including target designation), the French forces (Navy and Airforce) require today more airspace to carry out its missions. Indeed, wider overland areas are needed to match the reality of combat. It additionally demands combined high and low level training zones. A significant reshape of the route network, both in the low and the upper airspace was therefore needed to match the new military airspace structure.

Change in the Brest ACC route network

10 new way points are created and the route structure subsequently significantly modified. The Route Availability Document (RAD) has been reviewed accordingly.
This entire redesign aims at bringing the routes available for flight planning closer to what is tactically flown, thus improving fuel efficiency.

Providing even further ATM fluidity towards the UK

The N control sector of Brest is one of the busiest sectors with traffic demand that can reach up to a 100 flights per hour with very few variations during the day. It mainly deals with providing separation between the traffic to the UK destinations and the well-known south-west axis (i.e. traffic from Spain and Canary Islands to the Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia).

1100 vols-Origin NEST
Crédits : DGAC - Tous droits réservés

Fluidity and simplification in ATM is a challenge that was met with this airspace design project even with the significant constraints resulting from the military areas’ new print on the airspace.

4 routes
Crédits : DGAC - Tous droits réservés
  • TUPAR and MANAK are now used to initiate earlier separation for the UK traffic, taking into account their destinations. The Northbound flows will thus be improved by sorting out traffic to the UK destination sooner.

  • From TUPAR, above FL 335, routes are now available for flight planning H24. Their status change from ConDitional Routes (CDR) to Pre-Determined Routes (PDR)

More route options for NAT traffic to/from Paris-CDG

North Atlantic traffic to/from Paris CDG will benefit from the creation of 2 new H24 CDR 1*: UZ57 and UN29. These conditional routes are open to flight planning to join LATGO between 01 to 08 UTC. These routes will facilitate the distribution of traffic to/from Paris CDG taking into account the traffic pressure on the north set of runways during the busy morning peak and the final stand position of each NAT traffic.

Crédits : DGAC - Tous droits réservés

*Category One - Permanently Plannable CDR routes are available for flight planning during times published in the relevant national Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP).

Arrivals/Departures to airports in the Brest FIR (I.e. below FL195)

The creation of a new restricted area R270 below the TSA6 required changing SIDs and STARs of the following airports: Brest-Bretagne (BES), Quimper (UIP), Lorient (LRT), Rennes (RNS) and Nantes (NTS)
You are invited to check the relevant Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP - see link below)

Impact on capacity

As always, given the size of these new military areas, the capacity of the control sectors will be impacted during military activity. However the new route system should enable better ATM fluidity even with the constraints applied on the route network.
If regulations were to be implemented due to a high demand of traffic simultaneously with a military activity, they shall be coded under airspace management reason in the Eurocontrol flow management system.

Wrap up of the benefits for the airline community

  • SAFETY : Earlier “deconfliction” of the northbound traffic to the UK. Relieved traffic pressure over MANAK
  • CAPACITY : Constraints during military activity are alleviated for the N sector with route network available above FL335.

  • FLIGHT EFFICIENCY : Shorter routes and improved route availability for flight planning above FL 335. Flying time benefit is expected. Studies are carried out.

New military zones

New Temporary Segregated Areas have been created to meet the French army’s demand.

Temporary Segregated Areas (TSA)
Crédits : DGAC - Tous droits réservés

Average monthly activity to expect of the entire defense system in the Brest ACC: 60 hours.

TSA 6 (H24, FUA applies)
Its new design modifies the route structure for the most significant traffic flow in terms of traffic number in the Brest airspace, the UK-SPAIN traffic flow. Opening times will be negotiated to avoid activity at peak hours if possible.

TSA 8 and TSA 9A
New vertical dimensions bring significant benefit to the network with airspace now available above FL 335 all year round, H24 pre-determined routes open to flight planning above.
Activity of all TSA are known to the airlines (and/or CFSP – Computerised Flight plan Service Provider) through AUP/UUP (Airspace Use Plan / Updated airspace Use Plan) published on the NOP Portal (see link below).

Note that D14 and D15 (combat zones for the Navy) are not part of FUA management below FL275: possible activation H24, activity announced by NOTAM with 24h advanced notice.

A proactive local collaboration between the civil and military representatives lead to the best compromise for the  use of the airspace. Feedback sessions are already planned with the French army to work the issues that could rise following the operational implementation.

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