On initiative of Civil Aviation Minister, Shri Ajit Singh, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) today cleared Flexible Use of Airspace (FUA) by civil and military users, which was unresolved for last so many years. There was a need to fulfill the demand of national security, where the need of airspace by the military was to be fulfilled in the fast changing environment of air warfare. Therefore, sharing of airspace on a need basis, by civil and military users was an urgent national requirement. With the implementation of Flexible Use of Airspace, there will be a fuel saving of 20,29,380 kg per annum and reduction of carbon dioxide emission by 63,93,600 kg per annum by direct routing between seven city pairs of Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Kolkata, DelhiChennai, Delhi-Hyderabad, Delhi- Begaluru, Kolkata-Chennai and Chennai-Mumbai for which the information is available. This is yet another progressive step taken by Shri. Ajit Singh after taking over the charge as Union Civil Aviation Minister.
The primary objective of FUA is to enhance airspace Capacity, minimize delays, fuel conservation, emission reduction and ultimate benefits to travelling public. Implementation of FUA through efficient civilian military co-ordination is an essential requirement to foster the traffic growth with ultimate benefit to the nation™s economy.FUA permits both military and civil user to efficiently and effectively utilize the available airspace on sharing basis to gain optimum usage, thereby enhancing its capacity, which results into efficient operations. 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.
As a first step for implementation of the FUA in India, a National High Level Airspace Policy Body (NHLAPB) for airspace use, be set up , to take up the job of strategic planning and assess/reassess the national airspace requirements of various stakeholders. It 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.
The Ministry of Defence has agreed with the proposal for implementation of FUA, subject to ensuring adequate safeguards in the system to prevent inadvertent leak of Military information and dissemination of any information on Military Aviation activities strictly on need to know basis.
The airspace of the nation is a finite sovereign asset, which is used by civil, military and aerospace authorities. Flexible utilization of airspace is important from the view point of efficiency of operation, viability of airlines and minimizing damage to environment. This can be achieved by the introduction of the concept of Flexible Use of Airspace.