“Long term investments in people and programmes must remain” – latest FAB CE social dialogue meeting

“Regular dialogue between social partners and management is essential for a successful functional airspace bloc but in a time of crisis social dialogue is even more important,” said Mario Kunovec-Varga, Head of Strategy, Development and International Relations of CroatiaControl, and FAB CE CEO Committee (CEOC) Chairman representative at the FAB CE social dialogue meeting held on 16 December 2020.

 He told workforce representatives that despite the current pandemic, all FAB CE air navigation service providers (ANSPs) recognised the importance of continuing with strategic ATM performance improvement plans when developing their pandemic mitigation strategies. “It is important to ensure that investments are not stopped and that qualified staff are retained; traffic demand will eventually return and capacity will be needed,” he said. “The FAB CEOC committee has a view that we should continue to follow strategic objectives as set out in the 2020-2030 strategy. The general direction is still valid, especially those services which support digitalisation and improve flight efficiency, environmental benefits and cost reductions.”

Matej Eljon, FAB CE Programme Manager, Director of FAB CE Aviation Ltd gave an update on the status of FAB CE programmes and outlined the different steps being taken by FAB CE ANSPs to reduce costs while ensuring staffing and resource levels were maintained to ensure the recovery - whether it takes hold in 2021 or 2024 - can be efficiently managed.

Despite the pandemic, the FAB CE Airspace taskforce continuing its important work of liaising with the Network Manage to ensure the alignment of the European Network developments with the FAB CE airspace strategy, especially improving the interface functionality of FAB CE free route area (FRA) airspace. The FAB CE Operational Excellence programme also continues to collect best practices and potential quick wins through changes in operational procedures, rostering and smaller adaptations to systems. He gave delegates an update on the harmonised communications, surveillance and navigation (CNS) infrastructure procurement alignment plan, which has identified areas where FAB CE ANSPs are now working together on their strategic systems equipment policies. He outlined lessons learnt during the last two years of smart procurement. He highlighted the problems that States and ANSPs had identified in the European Commission’s Single European Sky (SES) 2+ proposals and discussed with delegates the debate around proposed ANSP funding mechanisms, the RP3 “exceptional measures” .

 “The exceptional measures do not change the basic principles for financing air navigation services; the services remain fully user-financed, without any obligation for State subsidies Sky (SES)2+ proposals,” he said.