According to Regulation (EC) No 549/2004, a Functional Airspace Block is an airspace block based on operational requirements (such as safety, capacity, -efficiency), reflecting the need to ensure more integrated management of the airspace regardless of the existing national boundaries.
Functional airspace blocks (FABs) constitute the cornerstone of the Single European Sky legislation and policy. FABs are aimed at reducing fragmentation of the European ATM network and improving the network performance.
Each of the nine FABs established in 2012 seeks to provide possibilities for airspace users to enhance flight efficiency, to reduce costs and environmental impact. Participating in the ongoing development of functional airspace blocks are respective ministries of the transport sector, the national supervisory authorities, the certification bodies, the air navigation service providers and the representatives of military aviation.
The main areas of cooperation among FAB members are the following:
• Airspace configuration/ATFM, including measures for flight efficiency enhancement, the Free Route Airspace, integration of the airspace management and the air traffic flow management systems;• Technical systems harmonisation as an enabler for Cross-Border Service provision, including dynamic sectorisation, provision of ANS in contingency situations, Remote ATC Towers;
• Rationalisation of systems and equipment and supporting services;
• Safety enhancement;
• Social dialogue;
• Best practices;
• User involvement;
• Cost saving through joint measures: joint training and training infrastructure, joint procurement, maintenance, synchronised life cycles of technical ATM systems, harmonised ATM systems and tools, coordination of ANSPs’ investment plans, common CNS infrastructure developments, cross-border service provision or cross-border delegation of ANS, coordinated AIS provision, joint control centres.
The Baltic Functional Airspace Block (Baltic FAB) is a cooperative arrangement between Poland and Lithuania in the field of air navigation services. To implement the EU’s Single European Sky concept, the States, National Supervisory Authorities and Air Navigation Service Providers (Oro navigacija and PANSA) brought together their expertise, efforts and willingness for innovative changes. The main focus of the Baltic FAB is optimal performance of all users of two countries’ aggregated airspace comprising Warsaw and Vilnius flight information regions (FIRs).
For Oro navigacija (Lithuania) and PANSA (Poland), the Baltic FAB is a window of opportunity for all FAB members in various areas like industrial partnership, international cooperation, best practice sharing, research and development. The Baltic FAB members work together to improve the individual performance of each member as well as to create synergies for the whole Baltic FAB in order to meet challenges of global diversity.
The Baltic FAB strategic objectives:
• To extend the scope by involving other FABs, ANSPs, and non-EU States;
• To develop innovative solutions;
• To operate as a single business-oriented, efficient organization;
• To introduce and promote a value-driven organizational model;
• To provide services regardless of the site of provision.
The Baltic FAB has already become a solid cooperation platform for Oro navigacija and PANSA, with numerous achievements:
• Establishment (together with LPS SR and ANS CR, air navigation service providers of Slovak and Czech Republics) of the B4 Consortium to participate in the SESAR 2020 Research and Innovation Programme and concluding the Gate One Agreement to maintain better contacts with other States and FABs;
• Membership in the ITEC Alliance which is aimed at joint development of the air traffic control systems in order to provide the complete interoperability and the added value thereof, by taking advantage of the uniformity of the air traffic control systems being operated;
• Joint procurement of the ATM and A-SMGCS systems;
• The FRA concept has been initiated in consistency with ERNIP;
• Joint initiatives of co-operation with non-EU ANSPs;
• Co-ordination of SAR work;
• Adopting common communication strategy and tactics;
• Sharing best practice in training, social dialogue, operational activities.
The ongoing activities are aimed at:
• Implementation of the initial Baltic FAB ATM solution;
• Interoperability between iTEC and other air traffic control systems, establishment of the contingency planning procedures in order to provide more effective cross-border services designed for collaboration with other FABs and non-EU member states;
• Local air traffic complexity management (Oro navigacija and PANSA are to deploy Traffic Complexity tools which continuously monitor and evaluate the current and the expected traffic volume and the estimated controller’s workload in order to optimise the use of available capacity);
• Implementation of a plan for the cross- border operations, dynamic sectorisation and joint operations in contingency situations;
• Strengthening of collaboration with other FABs and collaboration with non-EU member states.
Read more: http://www.balticfab.eu/
Tel.: +370 706 94 502,
Fax.: +370 706 94 522,