The New Airspace Structure over European Part of Russia

On 3 December 2020 at 03:00 a.m. Moscow time, the switch to a new airspace structure took place in Moscow and adjacent FIRs. That night a major transition to the new structure was accomplished in the entire European portion of Russia, a landmark event for the country’s aviation industry.

At the time of transition, 480 aircraft were operating flights in Moscow and adjacent flight information regions. Mr. Alexander Neradko, First Deputy Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation – Head of the Federal Air Transport Agency (FATA), Mr. Dmitry Yadrov, Deputy Head of FATA, and Mr. Igor Moiseenko, Director General of State ATM Corporation, were observing the event on the premises of flight control centre of the State ATM Corporation’s Moscow branch.   

As a result of the new airspace structure implementation, the capacity of this volume of airspace has increased by 1.5 times. The new airspace structure provides for utilization of the advanced navigation equipment and methods for route network development, conflict-free arrival and departure procedures in Moscow aerodromes, and independent simultaneous approaches to parallel runways of Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo airfields. In addition, the maneuvering time in Moscow TMA has been reduced by an average of 15% and the length of standard arrival and departure routes - by 21%. With the new structure in place, air traffic services can be provided to as many flights as the ground infrastructure of each airport within the area is capable of accommodating. Fuel consumption will be reduced by almost 14%. Average estimated fuel economy for aircraft arriving at Sheremetyevo is 39%, at Domodedovo – 34%, at Vnukovo – 23%.

The new airspace structure introduces optimized prohibited and restricted areas, new arrival/departure routes for the aerodromes of Moscow TMA and surrounding areas. In total, 84 airports have been affected by the changes. A special focus is devoted to flight safety. The safety level is expected to increase by 1.8 times. The safety assessment has been carried out in compliance with the Russian Federation regulations developed with due regard to ICAO recommendations. As a result of the new airspace structure introduction, the amount of air/ground radio communications will be reduced many-fold, therefore reducing air traffic controller and pilot workload. The new structure presents opportunities for further development. It provides for implementation of advanced arrival and departure flow-control technologies (AMAN/DMAN).

The road to the new airspace structure implementation was long and winding. This work was launched by State ATM Corporation together with federal authorities, airspace users and airports in compliance with the Government Transport Commission mandate.   The scope of work encompassed equipment, personnel and aeronautical information. During the preparations, the necessary hardware and software were made available with due regard to the QNH implementation. ATS/ATM staff received exhaustive training. 28 Letters of Agreement between adjacent Russian air traffic centres and 14 LOAs with ATC centres of the neighboring countries were amended. Official aeronautical information, effective on 3 December 2020, was published on the Aeronautical Information Centre web-site in AIRAC Amendments 11, 12 and 13 and Russian AIP Supplement.

In conclusion, it should be noted that State ATM Corporation is ready to provide comprehensive assistance to flight crews in view of the new structure implementation and in cases when navigation databases are needed to be updated with information on individual airports.