FAB CE: Important Results

During the Hungarian chairmanship of the FAB CE CEO Committee (CEOC) between June 2014 and June 2015 the members of FAB CE established an international company to support the implementation of the functional airspace block programme, and further enhanced InterFAB cooperation. The long-planned reform of the FAB CE programme was launched; and the new Program Manager for the FAB CE Programme was appointed, who also attends to the duties of the joint company’s director. Moreover, the RP 2 performance plan for the 2015-2019 period, a key factor in the FAB CE operation, was successfully finalised.

One of the major milestones in the past twelve months in respect of FAB CE operation was the foundation of the joint venture company, FAB CE Aviation Services Ltd., which serves the efficient implementation of regional cooperation. Following several years of preparation, the foundation document was signed by representatives of the FAB CE countries that are members of the European Union in October 2014. The purpose of the company established for joint procurement is to support the progress of the Central European Functional Airspace Block programme, and thus the implementation of the European Union’s Single European Sky (SES II) programme. Currently, the main goal of the cooperation is joint project management, but at a later stage it might be able to create such benefits as reducing undue overlaps in regional operation and the amount of redundant equipment, which can lead to significant savings in a larger area of operation.

During the Hungarian chairmanship the review and restructuring of FAB CE projects and assignments were also launched in the autumn of 2014, on the initiative of the Austrian and Hungarian ANSPs. From now on, the air navigation service providers will only focus on joint duties and projects that enable a more efficient and swifter fulfilment of the requirements set by the European Commission.

The InterFAB agreement signed by the member states of FAB CE and BLUE MED FAB (Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta) during the Hungarian chairmanship also supported the air navigation developments included in the SES II programme. The cooperation set the objectives to implement safer, more cost-efficient, more performance-oriented and more sustainable air navigation, and to establish several similar collaborations in the future. Accordingly, preparations began for a mutual agreement with DANUBE FAB (Bulgaria and Romania) following this example. The first InterFab coordination workshop held in Amsterdam in November 2014 further encouraged the expansion of InterFab agreements.  On the workshop, the representatives of nine European functional airspace blocks shared their experiences on implementation of FABs and discussed the planned introduction of the Free Route concept all over Europe. On HungaroControl’s initiative and under the coordination of the Hungarian ANSP FAB CE members submitted a joint technological study on Free Route implementation for the whole FAB for Connecting Europe Facility’s (CEF) call for proposal in February 2015.

During the Hungarian chairmanship of the FAB CE CEOC, considerable progress was made in reviving social dialogue as well. During the past year the forum was held on two occasions, but the intensive consultation and fruitful debates were continued in the period between the sessions as well. The document that serves as a basis for the dialogue between the unions and ANSPs, the Social Dialogue Charter was nearly finalised. This document contributes to the handling of crisis management tasks on a FAB CE level and to the improvement of Safety Measurement.