Functional Airspace Block Europe Central (FABEC) traffic in the first half of 2022 rebounded sharply from extremely low volumes in 2021, signalling a return to the high demand experienced before the pandemic. Flight movements rose faster than STATFOR forecasted. In the first half 2022 FABEC air navigation service providers controlled 2,391 flights. In June FABEC counted 512.6 thousand flights, 100 percent higher than the same month in 2021. However, there is still a substantial gap to 2019 traffic levels. Moreover, growth is uneven as for instance traffic volumes controlled by Karlsruhe UAC are already close to 2019 values while others are counting less traffic as average.
Moreover, traffic development is unpredictable as the industry continues to recover from the pandemic and is strongly impacted by other external developments. The Russian invasion of Ukraine caused overnight airspace closures which disrupted traffic flow and led to rapid change in military airspace requirements. FABEC members promptly established new military corridors in Europe’s core airspace and intensified civil-military cooperation to overcome these challenges. As a result of managing resources effectively and sharing best practices, FABEC members continue to maintain a safe and reliable airspace infrastructure.
The airspace of the six FABEC States of Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland is one of the busiest and most complex in the world. The majority of the major European airports, major civil airways and military training areas are located in this area. FABEC airspace covers 1.7 million km² and handles about 55% of European air traffic. Winner of the ATM 2020 Research, Innovation and Environment Award.