Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Shri K. C. Venugopal informed Rajya Sabha today that the concept of Flexible Use of Airspace (FUA) for sharing of airspace between civil and military users has been agreed in principle. The Government has accorded approval for constituting a High Level Airspace Policy Body (HLAPB) with the Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation as its Chairperson, and also for establishing sub-committees by the HLAPB to develop modalities for implementing the concept of FUA. Salient features of the airspace sharing settlement includes establishment of three levels of airspace management, viz., ASM Level 1, the strategic level, wherein the per-determined airspace structures will be established, ASM Level 2, the pre-tactical level, wherein day-to-day allocation of airspace according to user requirements will be carried out and ASM Level 3, the tactical level, wherein real-time use of airspace allowing a safer and fuel efficient civil and military flights is effected. The airspace sharing settlement also includes establishment of an Airspace Management Cell (AMC) for conducting ASM Level 2 operations in close coordination with Central Flow Management Unit.
The concept of FUA is expected to bring in significant savings in terms of fuel and air travel time. Flexible and direct routing between major city pairs alone is expected to result in fuel savings of 20,20,380 kg. per annum and in reduction of CO2 emission of 63,93,600 kg. per annum. The expected reduction in the flying time for passengers owing to shorter routing / connectivity to destination and resultant on-time performances of airlines is likely to benefit passengers to a large extent.