Covid-19 has exposed the inefficiencies that exist in current airspace arrangements.
With air traffic at only 30%-40% of normal levels, flight distances in Europe have reduced by an
average of 30 miles1 with an overall route saving amounting to some 30,000 miles each day. For
- Edinburgh-Gatwick: 357 flight miles reduced to 322 (with a 304kg or 12% fuel saving).
- Frankfurt-Heathrow 410 flight miles reduced to 380.
- Brussels-Dublin 482 flight miles reduced to between 402 and 412.
While these savings occur when reduced traffic density permits more direct routing, what savings might be possible, even at full capacity? How can increasing numbers of urban air mobility flying machines and unmanned vehicles be absorbed in the future?