On 17 December 2019, members of the FABEC Council, the FABEC ANSP CEO-board and the Network Manager met in Luxemburg to consider the results of the operational performance provided in 2019 and to discuss the way ahead for 2020. Participants were pleased to note that on-time performance improved substantially in the first eight months of 2019 throughout the FABEC area. Airlines reported that 77.1 percent of aircraft arrived at their destination on time, with less than 15 minutes or in some case ahead of schedule, 2.8 percent more than 2018. Analysis shows that one major contributing factor was the triad of cooperation between the local, regional and network agencies, successfully realised for the second consecutive year.
Following the achievements of the 4ACC initiative launched in 2018, which saw FABEC centres work together with the EUROCONTROL Network Manager to mitigate bottleneck areas, the concept was expanded in 2019 to include more centres and additional busy traffic flows within Europe. The results are evident in more stable network operations and increased traffic predictability.
Additionally, the FABEC and Network Manager joint working structure called the Airspace Design and Coordination Group (ADCG) will continue its work in 2020 with the clear objective to further elaborate the optimization of traffic flows and herewith the stabilization of the network by optimizing its airspace structure with a network perspective. In line with the transition plan of the so-called Airspace Architecture Study published in April 2019, the Network Manager and the FABEC representatives (States and ANSPs) have agreed to include into their working programme implementation measures exploiting cross-border FRA flexibility to address both capacity and flight efficiency in the FABEC airspace. This project will also provide long term military and national requirements.
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 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 5.8 million flights per year – 55% of European air traffic.