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Regulation 2150/2005 - Common Rules for the Flexible Use of Airspace (FUA)

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Content control: EUROCONTROL EUROCONTROL

Commission regulation (EC) No 2150/2005 of 23 December 2005 laying down common rules for the flexible use of airspace - text published in the Official Journal of the European Union

Objective

This Regulation aims to reinforce and harmonise the application, within the context of the Single European Sky, of the concept of the flexible use of airspace in order to facilitate airspace management and air traffic management in the European region.

Summary

Background

Flexible use of airspace (FUA) is an airspace management concept described by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and developed by the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL), according to which airspace should not be designated as either purely civil or purely military airspace, but should rather be considered as one continuum in which all users’ requirements have to be accommodated to the maximum extent possible.

A report issued by EUROCONTROL in October 2001 states that there is a significant scope for improving the current application of the flexible use of airspace within Europe. Common rules for giving effect to that improvement should be adopted.

Scope

The Regulation sets out rules to ensure better cooperation between civil and military entities responsible for air traffic management that operate in the airspace under the responsibility of EU Member States.

The FUA concept covers also airspace over the high seas. However, it does not cover military operations and training.

FUA Principles

The Regulation defines the governing principles of the concept of “flexible use of airspace”:

  • Coordination between civil and military authorities shall be organised at the strategic, pre-tactical and tactical levels in order to increase safety and airspace capacity, and to improve the efficiency of aircraft operations;
  • Consistency between airspace management, air traffic flow management (ATFM) and air traffic services (ATS) shall be established and maintained at the three levels of airspace management;
  • Airspace reservations shall be of a temporary nature, applied only during limited periods of time and based on actual use of airspace;
  • The FUA concept shall be applied across national borders and/or the boundaries of Flight Information Regions (FIR);
  • ATS units and airspace users shall make the best use of the available airspace.

Strategic Airspace Management

The Regulation lists the tasks to be performed by EU Member States in order to ensure the overall application of the FUA concept: establishment of airspace structures; establishment of coordination procedures and airspace management procedures; cross-border coordination; establishment of separation standards between civil and military flights, etc.

The strategic airspace management is known as FUA level 1.

Pre-Tactical Airspace Management

States are required to establish an Airspace Management Cell (AMC) to allocate airspace in accordance with the conditions and procedures defined at FUA level 1. The AMC shall take the form of a joint civil military cell, if both civil and military authorities are responsible for airspace management in a given State. It can also be a joint cell of two or more countries. States shall provide to the AMCs adequate supporting systems to ensure a timely and efficient airspace management process.

The pre-tactical airspace management is known as FUA level 2.

Tactical Airspace Management

Tactical airspace management shall be carried out at the level of ATS units and controlling military units. Dedicated co-ordination procedures and communication facilities shall enable mutual provision of airspace data in a timely manner to allow effective real-time activation, deactivation or reallocation of the airspace allocated at pre-tactical level. All affected users shall be notified of the current status of the airspace.

Direct communication between civil and military air traffic service units shall be ensured to permit the resolution of specific traffic situations where civil and military controllers are providing services in the same airspace. If required for safety reasons, exchange of flight data, including the position and flight intention of the aircraft, shall be established between civil ATC units and controlling military units.

The tactical airspace management is known as FUA level 3.

Assessment and Reporting

Any changes to the operations of the FUA shall be subject to safety assessment, including hazard identification, risk assessment and mitigation, in order to maintain or enhance existing safety levels. The safety assessment shall be carried out before implementation of a change within the context of a safety management process.

An Annex to the Regulation defines the elements which shall be included in the annual reports of the EU Member States to the European Commission on the application of the flexible use of airspace in accordance with the requirments of Article 7 of Regulation (EC) No 551/2004 (the Airspace regulation).

Regulation (EC) No 2150/2005 of 23 December 2005 laying down common rules for the flexible use of airspace (OJ, 24.12.2005)

Related Implementing Rules

Commission Regulation (EC) No 730/2006 on airspace classification and access of flights operated under visual flight rules above flight level 195

Commission Regulation (EC) No 255/2010 laying down common rules on air traffic flow management

Further Reading

European Commission

EUROCONTROL