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Eurocontrol MatrixEurocontrol Matrix

Eurocontrol Matrix

Note: For all categories, "Possible AOPA Issues/Comments" highlights those items that would need to be addressed should a similar plan be proposed within the United States.

Annex 1

Annex 1 encompasses the Roadmap for Strategic Actions and provides an overview of the transition plan for the implementation of the Eurocontrol Airspace Strategy for the ECAC States. The outlined objectives are as follows:

  • Flight planning and information on flight and airspace status
  • ATC sector design optimization
  • Terminal airspace optimization
  • Route network optimization
  • Utilization of user-preferred trajectories
  • Airspace management and civil/military coordination
  • Simplification of airspace organization

Annex 2: Simplification of Airspace Organization

Item # Operational Improvement Target Date Possible AOPA Issues/Comments
2.1 Harmonize ICAO airspace classification of all upper ECAC airspace above a common agreed division level 2003 -May or may not lead to issues of conformity here in the U.S.
2.2 Harmonize and simplify application of ICAO airspace classification in all ECAC airspace 2006 -See 2.1
2.3 Reduce number of airspace categories to only three types 2010 -This will lead to conformity issues between the U.S., ICAO, and ECAC States.
-How will equipment requirements be handled?
-How will weather requirements be handled?
-How will operational requirements be handled (IFR vs. VFR, etc.)?
2.4 Harmonize and reduce vertical airspace division to a commonly agreed base level 2013 -See 2.1
-Will "airspace compression" lead to VFR traffic flow difficulties at lower altitudes?
2.5 Reduce the number of airspace categories to only two types 2015 See 2.3

Annex 3: Airspace Management and Civil/Military Coordination

Item # Operational Improvement Target Date Possible AOPA Issues/Comments
3.1 Enhance real-time civil/military coordination 2000 -The recommendation is already in force in the Flexible Use of Airspace (FUA) Airspace management (ASM) Handbook.
-How is information on military activities disseminated to the public? Can we learn anything from their methods or leverage existing technology to enhance our efforts?
-It would be desirable to get more information concerning the methodology and success of current coordination efforts.
3.2 National collaborative/integrated airspace planning 2003 -Analogous to our efforts here in the U.S.
3.3 Extend Flexible Use Airspace (FUA) to lower airspace 2005 -The rationale here is to extend FUA into the terminal environment. Can this be done in an environment such as ours here in the U.S.?
-How would these concepts be tested here in the U.S.?
-Will any changes to existing terminal instrument procedures (TERPS) be required?
-What type of equipment will be required in order to participate in FUA?
3.4 Extend FUA with dynamic airspace allocation and harmonize operational air traffic (OAT)/ general air traffic (GAT) handling 2008 -The rationale for extending FUA with dynamic airspace allocation is to ensure airspace sectors and classes can be adjusted dynamically to meet changes in traffic situations. For users, such as air carriers, who will be appropriately equipped and operate exclusively in the IFR system, dynamically reallocating airspace class will pose no difficulty. However, how will this impact VFR/GA users?
3.5 Collaborative European airspace planning 2010 -How will the information concerning airspace adjustments be disseminated to the GA community?
3.6 Integrated European airspace planning 2015 -Will GA traffic be able to take advantage of route/trajectory optimization?
-If so, what equipment will be needed?
3.7 Allow autonomous operations in free-flight airspace 2015 -See 3.6
-The rationale for this item states that autonomous operations will be carried out in free flight airspace. How will operations in the other classes of airspace be handled?

Annex 4: Utilization of user-preferred trajectories

Item # Operational Improvement Target Date Possible AOPA Issues/Comments
4.1 Ad-hoc direct routing 2000 -The recommendation is already in force in the FUA ASM Handbook.
4.2 Free Routing in eight States 2003 -Are there future plans to allow GA airspace users real-time/near real time access to the same data ATC uses to determine airspace status?
-Will all aircraft operating in the IFR system be able to participate?
-If yes, what will be the equipment requirements?
-Will free routing extend down to all usable IFR altitudes?
4.3 Expand free routing application 2007 -See 4.2
4.4 Free routing in all ECAC States 2010 -See 4.2
4.5 Transfer of separation assurance (SA) responsibility in specific cases 2013 -What type of failsafe mechanisms will be in place for such operational practices?
-What special equipment will be required by aircraft operating both within and outside of the IFR system?
-How will this impact VFR operations?
4.6 Full transfer of SA responsibility 2015 -See 4.5

Annex 5: Route Network Optimization

Item # Operational Improvement Target Date Possible AOPA Issues/Comments
5.1 Air traffic services route network (ARN)-V4 reduced vertical separation minima (RVSM) 2002 -How will the addition of six extra flight levels impact safety?
-Where will these levels be added?
5.2 ARN-5 (Pre-tactical re-routing operations and initial use of required navigational performance (RNP)-1 2004 -Will GA be able to take advantage of these procedures?
-If yes, what equipment will be required?
5.3 ARN-Vx (RNP1) 2010 -See 5.2
5.4 ARN-Vz (4D RNAV) 2014 -See 5.2
5.5 No longer pre-defined ATS routes 2015 -This portion of the plan is not yet developed enough to offer comment.

Annex 6: Terminal Airspace Optimization

Item # Operational Improvement Target Date Possible AOPA Issues/Comments
6.1 Adapt airspace organization 2004 -The rationale for this item is that improved aircraft performance capabilities allow for the redesign of terminal airspace to provide more efficient standard instrument departures (SID) and standard terminal arrival routes (STAR) and permit optimized sectorization.
-What procedural changes are envisioned and will GA accommodation be a priority?
-What TERPS changes will be needed?
6.2 Enhance airspace organization 2005 -What type of equipment will be needed to take advantage of system changes?
6.3 Dynamic management of terminal airspace 2008 -How will the dynamic changes in airspace classes impact VFR users?
6.4 Improve terminal airspace organization with the application of enhanced area navigation (RNAV) 2010 -This item appears to be calling for a system of SID's and STAR's based strictly on enhanced RNAV.
-Will other procedures be in place for non-global positioning system (GPS) equipped aircraft?
6.5 Application of 4D RNAV in terminal airspace 2014 -See 6.4

Annex 7: ATC Sector Design Optimization

Item # Operational Improvement Target Date Possible AOPA Issues/Comments
7.1 Improve sector design for RVSM 2002 -See 5.1
7.2 Sectors adapted to particular traffic flows and/or specialized functions 2004 -This is analogous to what is being done in the U.S. to eliminate choke points.
7.3 Sectors adapted to variations in traffic flow and/or airspace availability 2008 -See 7.2
7.4 Dynamically sized sectors 2010 -See 7.2
7.5 Control on a flight by-flight basis 2015 -This portion of the plan is not yet developed enough to offer comment.

Annex 8: Flight Planning and Information on Flight and Airspace Status

Item # Operational Improvement Target Date Possible AOPA Issues/Comments
8.1 Improve airspace and route availability publication 2000 -How will airspace information be provided to users?
8.2 Improve central flow management unit (CFMU) views on flights and use current flight plan (CPL) 2002 -See 8.1
8.3 Collaborative flight planning and using improved aeronautical information availability 2003 -See 8.1
8.4 Tactical flight planning allowing late changes through data link 2007 -See 8.1
8.5 Enhance collaborative decision making applied to airspace 2010 -Will GA be allowed to participate?
-If yes, how?