FAB CE - Functional Airspace Block Central Europe

In March 2008, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovak Republic and Slovenia approved the FAB CE Feasibility Study Master Plan. The Master Plan describes the implementation of the FAB CE in a phased approach, allowing progressive and flexible development of FAB operations for en-route ATM services.

On November 18, 2009, the FAB CE States signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the purpose of establishing FAB CE Preparatory (Phase) structures and a general framework of cooperation among the FAB CE States, including their NSAs and respective military authorities. The preparatory activities conducted by the FAB CE ANSPs under the Memorandum of Cooperation were completed in May 2010 with the final delivery of the ANSP planning documents to the FAB CE States’ structures.

With the signing of the FAB CE Agreement and the ANSP Cooperation agreement on May 5, the Preparatory Phase was completed paving the way for implementation.

 

Background: Single European Sky (SES)

The Single European Sky (SES) initiative was launched to enhance current air safety standards, to contribute to the sustainable development of the air transport system and to improve the overall performance of air traffic management and air navigation services for general air traffic in Europe. The Central European airspace is of significant importance in the European air traffic management and any improvements achieved in its design, management or in the provision of air navigation services will contribute to a better flow of traffic not only in Central Europe.

Implementation of the Single European Sky is of major importance to airspace users in order to address issues of performance and fragmentation. FABs are a major element of the SES and FAB CE will play an essential role in meeting user requirements especially in the South East axis where major delays have occurred in the past with traffic to and from the Middle East and Asia. Airspace users look to the ANSPs in this region to coordinate their planning and investments in order to reduce delays, improve safety and cost efficiency.

To be compliant with SES, FABs are to respect among others the following requirements:

  • be supported by a Safety Case;
  • enable optimum use of airspace, taking into account air traffic flows;
  • ensure consistency with the European route network;
  • be justified by their overall added value on the basis of Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA);
  • ensure a smooth and flexible transfer of responsibility for ATC between Air Traffic Services Units;
  • facilitate consistency with Community-wide performance targets.   

 

Facts and Figures

  • FAB CE Airspace covers more than 529,497 km²
  • There are as many as 63 control sectors and
  • 8 Area Control Centres (ACCs)