Airspace is no longer designated for purely ‘civil’ or ‘military’
purpose, but considered as one continuum1
and allocated according to the user requirements viz for Civil or Military
uses. Airspace allotments and segregations are temporary in nature, and based
on real-time usage within a specific time period.
India has in recent times, witnessed an
exponential increase in use of its Airspace by the Civil
Aviation sector as a result of, Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization
of Indian economy and the recent Open Sky policy by the Government of India. Moreover the UDAN
scheme by Government of India to make air travel affordable to the common man,
aims to connect all the Tier 2 & Tier 3 cities by developing about 100 new
Green Field Airports, crowding the Indian Airspace in future.
The Concept of
Flexible use of Airspace (FUA) provides
the Air Traffic Management (ATM) system with the potential to increase its air
traffic handling capacity. The FUA Concept allows the maximum-shared
use of airspace through enhanced Civil and Military coordination/cooperation.
The application of the FUA Concept ensures that any airspace segregation is
temporary in nature and based on actual use for a specified time period. Flexible airspace
structures have been established that are suited to temporary use. Military
aviation places a lot of emphasis on a secure national airspace. Civil and Military
Cooperation is based on effective real time communication. The aim of Civil-Military
cooperation and coordination should be based on a dialogue between Civilian and
Military authorities, with a clear understanding, that supporting the civil air
navigation infrastructure is coherent with the Military mission to defend the
National security interests. The
objective of Flexible use of Airspace (FUA) is to make better use of available airspace,
using mechanisms such as the exchange of Flight plan and real time Surveillance data.
Flexible Use of Airspace (FUA) is an Airspace
Management concept based on the principle that airspace should not be
designated purely as Civil or Military, but rather as a continuum in which all
user requirements are accommodated to the greatest possible extent. The Military
controls around 65% of the Indian airspace, and the Civil aviation authorities
have access to 35%. In recent past, there have been several initiatives and steps that the military has taken to
accommodate demands of the burgeoning civil aviation market. In March 2013,the Government of
India approved implementation of Flexible Use of Airspace in India. With the implementation of Flexible Use of Airspace
(FUA), there will be a huge amount of fuel saving thereby reducing the
operating cost of the Civil aviation and also help in reduction of Carbondioxide emission by virtue
of having a direct routing between several Indian cities.
There has been a manifold increase in use of Indian Airspace by the
Civil Aviation sector as a result of, Libralisation, Privatization and Globalization
of Indian economy and the recent Open Sky policy by the Government of India. As per the National
Civil Aviation Policy 2016, the government will enter into an open sky air
service agreement on a reciprocal basis with SAARC countries and countries with
territory located entirely beyond a 5,000-kilometre radius from New Delhi.
Moreover the UDAN scheme by Government of India to make Air travel affordable
to the common man, aims to connect all the Tier 2 & Tier 3 cities by developing
about 100 new Green Field Airports in India, will make the India Airspace
crowded in the near future. This research paper will make an endeavor to
highlight and bring out the present use of Indian Airspace by the Military and
the Civil Aviation and coordinated use of the airspace in future, without
compromising on Military use of Airspace for National Security.
Statement of Problem
The investigator will endeavour to investigate the following problem:
‘AIRSPACE MANAGEMENT: A FOCUS ON CO-ORDINATED
AND FLEXIBLE USE OF AIRSPACE BETWEEN MILITARY AND CIVIL AVIATION IN INDIA’
ASM – Air Space management can be defined as the coordination2, integration,
and regulation of the use of airspace of defined dimensions.
FUA – Flexible use of Airspace can be explained as space considered as
one continuum and allocated according to user requirements and cannot be
designated as purely ‘civil’ or ‘military’ airspace.
TSA – Temporary Segregated Area can be defined as volume3 of airspace normally
under the jurisdiction of one aviation authority and temporarily
segregated, by common agreement, for the exclusive use by another aviation
authority and through which other traffic will not be allowed to transit.
research paper will analyze the present use of Indian Airspace by
the Civil Aviation sector, keeping the National economic growth, vis-à-vis, use
by the Military to defend the National boundaries and Airspace. It will also make
an endeavour to examine its viability and implications for co-ordianated and flexible
use of national airspace in future, both by the Civil & Military aviation.
The research will also examine the present policy on Flexible use of Airspace
(FUA) in vogue in India and policies as promulgated by ICAO and by other
countries. The study would try to analyse how India
should as a developing nation, and emerging economic super power , accommodate
the increased use of Indian Airspace by civil aviation sector and be proactive,
in reaping the benefits, of this emerging resultant economic growth, and also
give priority to use of airspace for Military training and aviation when
necessary, so as not to undermine the
National security at any cost.
Objective of Study
the research will be as under:
1) To study the present, Flexible use of Airspace (FUA) in India by the
Civil aviation sector and the Military and existing laws/policies on FUA.
2) To study the implications of
increased use of Indian airspace by Civil aviation sector due Open Sky policy
and UDAN scheme by Government of India.
3) To study the feasibility of coordinated and Flexible use of Indian
Airspace, by Civil aviation and the Military to achieve a balance between the
nation’s economic progress and National security.
Delimitations of the Study
1) The research will be
limited to Flexible use of Indian Airspace.
2) Indian Military and
the Civil aviation agencies will be considered for analysis of attitude towards
coordinated and flexible usage of indian Airspace.
hypotheses of the proposed research work are as under:-
1) There is no significant requirement of flexible and coordinated use of Indian
Airspace by the Civil aviation sector and for the purpose of Military training.
2) There is no significant effect on India’s economic growth by the
increased use of Airspace by the Civil Aviation sector.
3) There is no significant effect on National security, with the increased
use of Indian Airspace by the Civil
4) There is no significant requirement of any policies/regulations for the Flexible
Use of Airspace (FUA) in India.
Scope of Study
The scope of
the research will be, to explore the coordinated and flexible use of Indian
Airspace for Military and Civil aviation purposes with emphasis on use of
airspace by the civil aviation sector, to help maintain the economic growth in
India, and also not to undermine the National security. It will also study the
efficacy of the policy on the Flexible use of Airspace (FUA) as in vogue in India
and other nations, as also promulgated by the ICAO. This research would be
limited to literature available in open source and will make an endeavor to collect
facts and data from Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Airport
Authority of India (AAI), and from all
the three services of the Indian Armed Forces viz the Army, Navy &
Sample Size: 100
Military (Army, Airforce & Navy) aviators and personels dealing with
Military Air traffic and Air space management, 100 Civil aviation professionals
dealing with commercial flying, air traffic / air space management, policy
making and implementation, Viz Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA),
Airport Authority of India (AAI)
Sample Selection: Samples will be collected from Military and
Civil aviation professionals dealing in flying, airspace management, policy
making and implementation,also
professors dealing in the subject including professors at Center for Air and
Space Law (CASL), NALSAR, Hyderabad.
Data Collection Procedure: Data will be collected primarily by
attitude scale and interviews. Books, websites and online journals and feedback from Aviation professionals from
Military and Civil aviation sectors, policy making agencies and implementing
Data Collection Tool: Attitude
scale, interviews and questionnaire.
Data Analysis: Data analysis will be done by a mix of Descriptive, Qualitative and Empirical type of study, in which Flexible
use of Airspace (FUA) in India will be explored. The researcher will also
explore the feasibility of increased use of Airspace for the civil aviation
purposes in India, without undermining the national security. This study will
also undertake to assess the existing policies and need for formulation of same
for Coordinated and Flexible use Airspace in India.
literature on the topic will be referred, to find a possible gap in the
existing research work. Data will be collected through primary and secondary
Chapter 1: Introduction – In this chapter basic introduction to the concept of
Flexible use of Airspace (FUA) will be given.
Chapter 2 : Need for Flexible use of Airspace (FUA) – In this chapter the need
for coordinated and flexible use
existing Airspace in India will be explored.
Chapter 3 : In this chapter presently the latest in Drone technology in Vogue
will be explained.
Chapter 4 : Military uses of Indian Airspace – In this chapter use of Airspace
for Military training purposes, keeping the National security preparedness,
with threats looming from our neighbors in Eastern and Western borders, in
perspective, will be discussed.
Chapter 5 : Civil uses of Airspace in India – This chapter will explore the
present and possible extensive use of Indian
Airspace by Civil aviation sector in the light of Open Sky policy and UDAN
scheme of Government of India.
Chapter 6: Laws / Policies governing the Flexible use of Airspace (FUA) in India
and in other countries – This chapter will explore the policies in vogue in
India and other countries for Flexible use of Airspace (FUA) and its efficacy.
Chapter 7: Role of DGCA, ICAO and other agencies and governing bodies in Flexible
use of Airspace – This chapter will discuss the role of DGCA, AAI, ICAO and
other governing bodies in coordinating the Flexible use of Airspace for its
Civil and Military uses in India and its implications.
Chapter 8: Analysis of Civil and Military Flexible uses of Airspace in India –
This chapter will aim to bring out the pros and cons of Flexible use of
Airspace in India for Civil and Military purposes including Airspace Management
and also analyse if there is a possible threat its can pose to National
Security in the prevailing security scenario with shrinking Airspace for
Conclusion – In the conclusion a
detailed analysis will be carried out for the payoffs of Flexible use of
Airspace for Civil aviation in India vis-à-vis its use for Military purpose,
keeping the steady growth of Indian economy in view and without undermining the
National security, by achieving a coordinated balance in use of Indian Airspace.
BUJOR, 2011, The concept of Flexible Use
US Department of Defense,2005,
Dictionary of Military and Associated terms
Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL), 2017