The FAB CE legal entity, FCE Aviation Services, signed its first equipment contract on behalf of all six FAB CE member states on 26 June 2017. S&T Slovenija was selected following a competitive tender, issued in May, to deliver common regional telecommunications infrastructure to all six air navigation services providers (ANSPs) to support seamless exchange of data between FAB CE member states.
Under the single contract, the company is supplying common CISCO routers, in addition to support services for each user, directly to each country in the weeks ahead. The new routers replace an existing equipment network – due renewal – which is used to ensure seamless exchange of a range of messages including surveillance data, aeronautical messages, and to support On-Line Data interchange (OLDI) between FAB CE member states.
FCE Director Matej Eljon said: “We have completed our first infrastructure joint procurement with very good results. We’ve proved we can deliver common smart procurement at a price that meets our expectations.” The activity not only saved money compared to individual procurement country by country, but also secured a lower than estimated common price. The process is now available for use to carry out other smart procurement projects in the future.
To reach this point, FCE had to develop a process in-house that could be used to prepare common technical requirements. In addition, it established a way for ANSPs to be part of the approval process, and to execute the procurement. The work was completed over several months, and concluded with recommendation of the winning bid by the Procurement Assessment Committee. “The process was not there before so we had to invent the process internally,” said Matej. “Now we have proved that it works we are ready to execute procurement with much shorter lead times.”
Smart procurement is a key enabler for the harmonisation and optimisation of FAB CE operations, one of three high level initiatives set out in the FAB CE Strategy, along with safety and performance monitoring, and stakeholder communications. These activities are detailed in 15 FAB CE Strategy objectives which provide the framework for all FAB CE projects. The tasks and projects are updated regularly to ensure they are aligned with the Pilot Common Project, and reflect the goals of the broader European ATM Master Plan.