ENAV implementation of Free Route


Jan. '13CompletedNov. '17

Implementing Partners

Leader: ENAV


This Implementation Project was successfully completed in November 2017 under the coordination of SESAR Deployment Manager. The implementation of this FRA Project was operationally achieved starting December 2016, and since that time, all ATS routes in Italy were removed above Flight Level (FL) 335 (i.e. above 33.500 feet).


The project aimed to implement Free Route operations in Italy through a seamless integration of the four Italy Area Control Centres - ACCs (Milan, Rome, Padua and Brindisi) enabling airspace users to freely plan and fly their preferred trajectories within the whole Italian airspace.

This project is part of the BLUE MED FAB Implementation Programme, within which the Free Route Airspace concept will be applied in four states: Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta.

Three phases of operational implementation were planned:

  1. 1st and 2nd phases by implementing a system capable to manage the Direct Routes (DCTs) within and between the Italian ACCs;

  2. 3rd phase by enabling the gradual implementation of full Free Route Airspace Concept extending the operational concept in all the airspace under the responsibility of the States involved, at least above a certain Flight Level, with no time limitation and no reduction on capacity, and cross-border FRA among neighbouring States, irrespective of national/FIR boundaries.

The deployment addressed technical systems, operational changes and the Italian airspace re-design. This deployment has been carefully synchronized, as it has involved civil and military air navigation service providers, airspace users and the Network Manager to ensure the successful achievement of the project objectives.

The boundaries of the sector in which the airspace is divided have been redesigned to better organise the main flows of traffic, with an improve of the efficiency and removing flight planning constrains. As a result, the average capacity of these sectors has increased.

Since its entering into operation and by 2030, this implementation is expected to save almost 4 million minutes of flight time and 75.000 tons of CO2. These elements equate to 335 million euros of monetised benefits by that date.


A certain number of completed projects are highlighted as it was already possible to provide detailed information on specific benefits brought by these projects. In time, SESAR Deployment Manager will provide such detailed information for every completed project.

Countries involved

Additional Information

  • Project Type: Air Navigation Service Provider
  • CEF Call Year: 2014
  • Civil/Military: Civil
  • Multistakeholder: No
  • Main AF: AF3 - Flexible ASM and Free Route
  • Sub AF: S-AF 3.2 Free Route
  • Progress Percentage: 99%


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