Second FAB CE Social Dialogue Forum for 2014 held in Budapest

Air navigation service providers of Functional Airspace Block Central Europe (FAB CE) and representatives of trade unions from the FAB CE region held their meeting on November 27, 2014 in Budapest, at the headquarters of HungaroControl Hungarian Air Navigation Services Pte. The participants of the FAB CE Social Dialogue forum had a consultation about their views regarding SES II+, the common strategy of FAB CE, the tasks of the new FAB CE legal entity, the impact of the restriction in Ukrainian airspace, the opportunities to further improve the cooperation between European FABs as well as HR&TRN activities. The conference was co-chaired by Kornél Szepessy, current Chairman of FAB CE CEO Committee and CEO of HungaroControl, and by Alexander Rovina, air traffic controller of Austro Control representing the FAB CE Union Alliance.


FAB CE Social Dialogue opens the door for ANSPs and representatives of air navigation services trade unions twice a year to consult about current issues affecting the airspace block. The forum serves as a great opportunity to transfer information and knowledge in a more structured way, to identify important challenges, to exchange opinions and to develop common positions.

‘The Social Dialogue framework is an important tool and platform for all of us since it is our common goal that FAB CE should become Europe’s most highly recognised functional airspace block.’ – said Kornél Szepessy, chairman of FAB CE CEOC, CEO of HungaroControl.

As one concrete result of the Forum ATCO Union participants expressed their agreement to the presented draft of a common Position Paper on ATCO Mobility. After the final decision of the CEOC it will be a tactile example and the result of the continuous dialogue between Social Partners in FAB CE.

During the meeting participants discussed several valid issues of FAB CE co-operation. The open discussion started on SES II+ legislative package of the European Commission – which led to important conclusions and messages including the view of the trade unions, that safety and capacity issues should be addressed in the new legislation. Based on aspects such as capacity overload the further development of Safety Management Systems (SMS) should be carried out with CEOC involvement at the highest level. The participants of FAB CE Social Dialogue forum also analysed the situation resulting from the restriction of the Ukrainian airspace, as well as its consequences and the options for managing the pressure on FAB CE air traffic controllers in terms of workload and responsibility. 

Union representatives were also given detailed information about the recently approved common strategy of FAB CE. The CEOC Chairman welcomed the initiative of unions to be continuously involved in the improvement of the next FAB CE Strategy update of 2015.

An overview of Performance Scheme Reference Period 2 (RP2 – 2015-2019) was also presented. Unions are certain on benefits for airlines stemming from actions taken towards cost efficiency and improvement of performance.

The presentation of the FAB CE Legal Entity (FABCE, Aviation Services, Ltd.) initiated an active exchange of views on the planned operation and the way of support for the implementation of FAB CE Programme. The conclusion of the last interFAB meeting was also on the agenda, namely that the operational experiences of the other FABs, the possible strengthening of relations and the potential for further common development create new opportunities for cooperation in the future.