Separation of Routes: How To Prevent Collisions & Accidents In The Air

The parent goal of the Maintain Sufficient Route Separation node is to separate aircraft routes as much as possible to prevent collisions and accidents in the air in the course of flights. The separation of routes creates the sufficient space for aircrafts to make maneuvers during the flight and to complete their flights successfully.

The key elements of the proposed solution include: the detection of unpredicted conflicts; the resolution of analyzed conflicts; the analysis of predicted conflicts; the prediction of route conflicts. The analysis of the aforementioned factors leads to the sufficient route separation. In this regard, it is possible to suggest two alternative models for the sufficient route separation based on the same issues:

And alternatively there is one more option to present the proposed solution to enhance the sufficient route separation:

In such a way, the prevention of conflicts in the course of the flight in terms of the proposed model focuses on predictable and unpredictable conflicts that have to be addressed. The prevention of such conflicts is important because the maintenance of the effective functioning of the aviation is possible only through the prevention of conflicts and their fast resolution. At this point, the proposed model has two major strengths. First, the model creates conditions for the analysis of possible conflicts and their prevention on the ground of data obtained in the result of the data analysis (Crichton, 2015). The prevention of predictable conflicts is possible and increases the effectiveness of the land dispatcher service that controls and manages flights. The analysis of predictable conflicts opens ways to their prevention through the change of the schedule of routes, for example. As a result, predictable conflicts may be successfully prevented and such risks are minimized.

Second, the proposed model focuses on the identification of unpredictable risks and conflicts as well. The model aims at the fast identification of unpredictable conflicts that may occur during flights and resolve them. At this point, it is worth mentioning the fact that the proposed model implies that such conflicts have to be resolved as soon as possible because of possible disastrous consequences of such conflicts. However, the achievement of such goal is quite challenging because there is no clear mechanism or methodology of the fast and effective conflict resolution. The prevention and resolution of such conflicts is essential. Unpredictable conflicts emerge unexpectedly (McDougall & Roberts, 2007). This is why often professionals responsible for the flight safety cannot always respond fast and successfully to such conflicts. The resolution of such conflicts needs the clear and effective strategy, which the model apparently lacks at the moment. Nevertheless, the focus on the proposed model on the resolution of unpredictable conflicts is extremely important because such conflicts are the most dangerous for the flight safety and separation of routes.

However, there is a problem of the identification and effective response to unpredictable conflicts because, even if the conflict is identified, there is no clear plan how to respond to the conflict. This is why the proposed model has a substantial drawback since the model does not have the action plan of how to respond to such conflicts effectively. To close the existing gap, the model has to include the action plan and the emergency management plan that will provide all stakeholders and agents with the clear set of actions which they have to undertake in case of the identification of an unpredicted conflict (Rinaldi, 2015). The action plan will help professionals involved in the conflict resolution to respond to the problem fast and to undertake actions that aim at the conflict resolution. For example, if a dispatcher identifies the problem with the separation of a rout, he/she should follow the action plan to come up with a plausible solution. If the dispatcher does not have the action plan, he/she will waste time on the elaboration of such a plan, while, in case of the route separation, such waste of time may be disastrous and lead to the accident with disastrous consequences for crews of aircrafts and passengers.

In addition, the proposed model needs to focus on the introduction of technologies and equipment that may potentially accelerate and improve the quality of the conflict resolution, especially in case of unpredictable conflicts to ensure the fast conflict resolution and effective route separation. The development of effective policies of the route separation needs the use of advanced technologies that may help to process information fast and to conduct the analysis of unpredictable conflicts that people do without the use of advanced technologies and contemporary solutions.

Therefore, the proposed model has certain limitations and needs improvements. They can help to enhance the effectiveness of the route separation policy and help the key stakeholders to reach the high level of security of flights. The development of effective route separation opens the way for the safety of flights. Taking into consideration the increase of the number of flights in the contemporary aviation industry, such policy is essential.

Thus, the prevention of conflicts in terms of the proposed model is essential for the increase of the flight safety through the separation of routes and addressing both predictable and unpredictable conflicts. The proposed model has certain flaws which have to be eliminated to make the model really effective.


Crichton, J. (2015). The NAV CANADA Model, The Journal of Air Traffic Control. 57 (2): 33–35.

McDougall, G. and Roberts, A.S. (August 15, 2007). Commercializing Air Traffic Control: Have the Reforms Worked? Canadian Public Administration, 51(1), 45–69.

Rinaldi, P. (2015). Safety and Efficiency Must Remain the Main Mission, The Journal of Air Traffic Control. 57 (2), 21–23.

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