The UAE just implement Free Route Airspace. Here’s the things to know.
The First Thing to Know
This is the first Free Route Airspace (FRA) in the Middle East region so it is a pretty big deal and worth a congrats to the UAE for implementing it.
FRA basically lets you plan to fly between two points at the entry and exit of airspace rather than having to do little jaunts between points all through the middle. So it shortens routes and saves fuel, which is all good stuff.
The UAE have implemented it in the OMAE/Emirates FIR above FL355, from July 13 2023.
The Second Thing to Know
The info and changes can be read about in AIC 04/2023 which can be found on their website here.
Basically, the following sections of the AIO have been amended:
- ENR 1.9 Air Traffic Flow Management and Airspace Management
- ENR 1.10 Flight Planning
- ENR 2.2 Other Regulated Airspace
- ENR 3.3 Area Navigation (RNAV) routes
- ENR 4.4 Name Code Designators for Significant Points
- ENR 5.1 Prohibited, Restricted and Danger areas
- ENR 6-1 Free Route Airspace (FRA) chart
- ENR 6-3 En-route chart – EMIRATES FIR
Here is the FRA chart for you to see now:
It isn’t the whole FIR – the orange bit isn’t FRA, and the other orange bit with all the routes in it isn’t FRA, but the main airspace (by main I mean bit all around OMDB/Dubai and OMAA/Abu Dhabi) that you probably fly in most is.
Head to ENR 1.9.10 for the full list of entry and exit points for your FRA Flight Planning.
One Other Thing to Know
You might already know this, but the UAE have ESCAT procedures.
They were (re)published in AIC A 03/2023 effective 18 May 2023. In case you haven’t come across these before, ESCAT is “ESCAT is an emergency preparedness plan that prescribes the joint action to be taken by UAE Military/local ATC Units in the interest of national security to control air traffic under emergency conditions.”
In other words, if something happens in the region, or something unwanted strays into the airspace then they might implement ESCAT and it is worth knowing what this will mean for you in case you are there when it happens.
So here is a picture of the relevant AIC for you to read all about it:
Except for this link to the GCAA Integrated Airspace Master Plan (in case you want to discover more about what they have planned for the future).