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Ireland and the UK plan to expand the scope of their cooperation over airspace.
The Irish Aviation Authority and the UK's air traffic authority NATS have published a document outlining how UK and Irish airspace can best be used, after completing two years of the UK-Ireland functional airspace block (FAB).
The "two countries, no boundaries" FAB has already allowed the creation of a route-free section of upper airspace, which means airlines can find the best flight paths for their destinations, rather than following set routes. This saved 14,800 tonnes of fuel in 2009, and 46,800 tonnes of C02.
The 2010-13 FAB Plan, published today (June 2) outlines the project which will see the integration of North Atlantic, Domestic (Irish/UK) and European traffic flows.
Donie Money, joint chairman of the FAB management board and director of operations for the Irish Aviation Authority, said: "This plan includes a great deal of careful thought around how we can maximise the operational capability of our airspace."
Some 90% of North Atlantic air traffic passes through Irish or UK airspace.
The recent volcanic ash crisis has renewed calls for a pan-European system similar to that used by Ireland and the UK, with many in Europe looking to the two countries for examples of what can be done.
EU transport ministers gave the single European sky project the "highest political priority", at an extraordinary meeting held in Brussels in May, to agree on measures to be taken by EU member states following the ash crisis.
Siim Kallas, vice president of the EC, responsible for transport, said a single European sky, with a single regulator, would mean a much faster co-ordinated response in a crisis.
"Major elements of the single sky package will be in place by end-2010, including a crisis cell," he said.