Fact Box: FUA (Flexible Use of Airspace)

Government approves Flexible Use of Airspace (FUA)
The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) cleared Flexible Use of Airspace (FUA) by civil and military users. The issue was pending for last so many years.
Why such a step ?

  • In the fast changing environment of air warfare and national security, there is an urgent sense of need of airspace use by the military. Therefore, sharing of airspace on a need basis, by civil and military users was an urgent national requirement.
  • Now, the airspace of the nation is a finite sovereign asset, which is used by civil, military and aerospace authorities. Thus, Fa lexible utilization of airspace is essential from the view point of efficiency of operation, viability of airlines and minimizing damage to environment. The same can be achieved by the introduction of the concept of FUA (Flexible Use of Airspace).

What will be the environmental benefits of implementation of FUA?

  • Fuel saving of 20,29,380 Kg/year
  • Reduction of CO2 emissions by 63,93,600 Kg/year

This will be achieved via direct routing between 7 city pairs of: Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Kolkata, Delhi–Chennai, Delhi-Hyderabad, Delhi- Begaluru, Kolkata-Chennai and Chennai-Mumbai for which the information is available.
What are the Objectives of FUA?
Primary objective:

  • Enhance airspace Capacity – sharing of airspace on a need basis, by civil and military users

Other Objectives:

  • Minimize delays
  • Fuel conservation
  • Emission reduction
  • Benefits to travelling public

What is the framework of this model?
In this model a coordinated procedure between the civil and the military and vice versa, as per need and on a real time basis if it is not being used by the user assigned with the responsibility for its control.

  • First step would be implementation of a National High Level Airspace Policy Body (NHLAPB) for airspace use will be set up in order to take up the job of strategic planning and assess/reassess the national airspace requirements of various stakeholders.
  • NHLAPB will establish flexible airspace use structure/committee’s and introduce procedures for allocation of these airspace structures.
  • The NHLAPB will be chaired by Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation with representation from Ministry of Defence, Indian Air force, Indian Navy, Indian Space Research Organization, Airport Authority of India and Directorate General of Civil Aviation. It can co-opt new members in future depending upon requirement.

Implementation of FUA via effective civilian military co-ordination is a crucial prerequisite to promote the traffic growth with ultimate benefit to the nation’s economy. FUA will allow both military and civil users to expeditiously and efficaciously utilize the available airspace on sharing basis so as to gain optimal usage, thus enhancing its capacity, which will result into efficient operations.
What are the dangers involved ?

  • It has to be strictly ensured that appropriate safeguards in the system are there in order to prevent any accidental leak of Military information and and to ensure that the any information on Military Aviation activities is disseminated strictly on “need to know” basis.



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