NATO has reopened Kosovo’s upper airspace to civilian flights with support from Hungary’s air navigation service provider.

Eurocontrol says that the airspace was reopened for overflights between 20,500ft and 66,000ft on 3 April, some 15 years after NATO’s peacekeeping Kosovo Force entered the Balkan country.

While the airspace will remain under NATO/Kosovo Force authority, flights will be directed by Hungarocontrol’s ATC centre in Budapest.

Five routes have been made available for aircraft that previously had to circumnavigate the airspace in question.

Its reopening will shorten the routing of about 180,000 flights a year by a total of 370,000nm, says Eurocontrol. This should reduce fuel consumption by 24,000t, which in turn will save 75,000t in carbon emissions, the European air navigation service provider adds.

Hungarocontrol needed to develop “unique and innovative solutions for non-adjacent multiple cross-border operations” to provide ATC services in Kosovo’s airspace, says Eurocontrol.

Source: Cirium Dashboard