Implementation of H24/7 South East Axis Free Route Airspace - SEAFRA

Following the night implementation in April 2015, three ANSPs (SMATSA, Croatia Control and BHANSA) responsible for the ANS provision in the airspace of four States – Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina as of December 8th have offered the airspace users H24/7 possibility to plan and execute flights free of fragmentation by state or AoR borders, by implementing the cross-border Free Route Airspace (FRA) – South-East Axis FRA (SEAFRA) - above FL325.

This is the first European FRA concept implemented over the territories of four states, two of which are members of FAB CE (Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina) with Serbia and Montenegro which are not a part of the FAB initiative, proving that such cooperation is possible, and can be of benefit to all stakeholders.

The idea of such a large-scale FRA was initiated by ATM experts of the ANSPs responsible for ANS provision in different states, with a common goal of improving ATS (Air Traffic Service) safety and efficiency as well as environmental protection by reducing fuel, CO2 and fuel NOx emissions.

It is important to point out that the SEAFRA actions were taken in line with the Regulation 716/2014, i.e. 5 years prior to the date of January the 1st 2022 for which the unlimited free use of airspace over 9.000 m across Europe is planned.

This project is one of the key improvements within the EU initiative on establishing the Single European Sky, regardless of the state borders or even FAB borders, aiming to enhance safety and efficiency, and to increase capacity of air traffic in Europe.

FAB CE Newsletter Autumn 2016

The FAB CE Newsletter Autumn 2016 is available:

In this issue:

- Introduction Milos Bartos, CEOC Chair
- CEOC approves High Level Plan
- FAB CE performs above target
- Analysis aligns projects with SESAR
- Introducing Free route airspace by 2019
- Social Dialogue forum in Bratislava
- Gate One selects FCE to manage Free Route Airspace project
- Securing benefits from Dynamic Airspace Management
- First projects near deployment
- Smart procurement offers savings
- Joint statement on future NM
- Common controller licensing
- Safety measure focus on prevention

Austro Control and Slovenia Control implement cross-border „Free Route“-Airspace

As of November 10th, Austro Control and Slovenia Control have successfully implemented
the first cross-border “Free Route”-Airspace without any vertical and time-based
restrictions in Europe.

The Slovenian Austrian Cross-border Free Route Airspace (SAXFRA) successfully went operational on November 10, 2016, being the first cross-border free route airspace without vertical or time-based restrictions. Virtually all airways (ATS routes) in the SAXFRA airspace
will disappear.

SAXFRA offers airspace users the opportunity to fly between predefined entry and exit points
using the most direct route possible. Airspace users will also be able to select the optimum
route and vertical profile for their requirements via intermediate points. Enabling free route
flying options in this complex and already highly optimized environment offers an estimated
savings of 13.000 kg of fuel daily and helps to reduce the CO2 emissions by 43.000 kg per day.
Free route is due to be implemented in the whole of FAB CE airspace (Austria, Slovenia,
Hungary, Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Bosnia-Herzegovina) by 2019.

SAXFRA, with its cross-border concept, time and vertical availability, represents a major step
forward in regard to the European ATM Master Plan for free route operations and follows the
roadmap to a successful implementation of Single European Sky.

FAB CE NSA Cooperation Agreement Signed

The Cooperation Agreement between the FAB CE NSAs was signed in Bratislava on November 10th. The purpose of the agreement is to establish cooperation among the NSAs at FAB CE level. It defines the rules and conditions related to the exercise of the rights and obligations of the NSAs under the FAB Agreement.

Cooperation Agreement


FAB CE and Danube FAB joint statement on the future of the Network Manager

  • With regard to the currently ongoing discussions on the imminent re-nomination of the Network Manager, the FAB CE and DANUBE FAB CEOs jointly concluded:


  • FAB CE and DANUBE FAB ANSPs appreciate the European Commission’s proactive effort suggesting further streamlining and more efficiency of the Network Manager;

  • FAB CE and DANUBE FAB ANSPs welcome the EUROCONTROL response to the European Commission and consider it as a solid basis for further role of EUROCONTROL as a more autonomous and efficient body executing the responsibility of the Network Manager;

  • FAB CE and DANUBE FAB ANSPs consider that the option of creating a legal entity (subsidiary created by and fully/majority owned by EUROCONTROL) is the solution for balancing a strong role of NMB in governing the Network Manager while benefiting from existing competence and impartiality of the existing Network Manager team. The FABCE and DANUBE FAB CEOs are therefore supporting this option as the ultimate goal;

  • Nevertheless, if the above option is not feasible within the remaining timeframe up to 2019, the option of a functional separation (Network Manager as a functionally separated entity of EUROCONTROL) is also acceptable for re-appointment in 2019, supported by short term actions as proposed by EUROCONTROL.

First FAB CE Social Dialogue 2016 held in Bratislava

P1000275 klOn October 13th the first FAB CE Social Dialogue 2016 was held on the premises of LPS in Bratislava. LPS CEO Miroslav Bartos welcomed all participants and stressed the importance of the Social Dialogue.

The agenda included the presentation of the High Level Plan by FCE focused on the implementation of the FAB CE Strategy. Participants were invited to submit comments. The Harmonization of social standards within FABCE was discussed, union representatives proposed a working group to go further in to detail. A guest from FABEC gave a presentation on the Social dialogue structure in FABEC, which consists of a 3 layermodel P1000353 klfor communication procedures.

Additional topics included the implementation of the regulation EC 2015/340 in ANS CR regarding the technical requirements and administrative procedures relating to air traffic controllers' licences and certificates as well as a report on safety performance and Just Culture.

FAB CE Free Route Progress Report

A presentation on the progress of the implementation of the Free Route Airpsace „from the Black Sea to the Black Forest“ was given.  Airspace Users will benefit from more efficient routings, air traffic controllers will meet the challenge of a more complex environment.