In this paper, mechanical reliability of “air gap” structures has been evaluated when a copper line is completely surrounded with air. Different Finite Element (FE) simulation models have been used on a 2-metal level structure to study the M2 copper line bow evolution as a function of its dimensions if complete air cavities are generated underneath (i.e. at via level). Design rules information may therefore be obtained to optimize “air gap” integration considering the 65 nm and 22 nm technology nodes. Thus, we not only highlight that M2 copper line can not collapse considering our failure criterion but that M2 bow variation may also be improved when a tensile SiCN capping layer is deposited on top of the structure. The influence of the interline spacing vs. M2 bow has also been studied and we show that its increase is a beneficial parameter for the air gap structure. In opposite, we demonstrate that buckling can occur when a compressive SiCN layer is used. Finally, we accurately predict the M2 bow variation for air gap structures of the 65 nm and 22 nm technology nodes, but stress and strain distribution can complementary be provided. Those results highlight interesting criteria for designers to build reliable air gap structures.