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Commission urges eighteen Member States to make a decisive move towards common airspace management

All EU Member States should have implemented their Functional Airspace Blocks (FABs) by 4 December 2012 according to Regulation (EC) No 550/2004. The FAB between Italy, Greece, Cyprus, and Malta (BLUEMED FAB) is still being formally established.

The Commission has formally requested Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and United Kingdom, members of six different Functional Airspace Blocks (FABs) to improve their FABs, a common airspace arranged around traffic flows rather than state boundaries. FABs are a crucial step towards a more efficient, less costly and less polluting aviation system in Europe.

Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, said: “we have to finally overcome national borders in the European airspace. FABs are a necessary, vital component of the Single European Sky. Right now these common airspaces exist only on paper; they are formally established but not yet functional. I urge Member States to step up their ambitions and push forward the implementation of the Single Sky”.

All EU Member States should have implemented their FABs by 4 December 2012 according to Regulation (EC) No 550/2004. The FAB between Italy, Greece, Cyprus, and Malta (BLUEMED FAB) is still being formally established, whilst the State Agreements establishing the FAB between Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia (FABCE), the FAB between Bulgaria and Romania (DANUBE FAB), the FAB between Lithuania and Poland (BALTIC FAB), and the FAB between Spain and Portugal (SOUTHWEST FAB), and the UK/IRELAND FAB have come into force.

Actual progress on these FABs’ airspace reorganisations and on the effectiveness of their air navigation services has been slow. This means more delays, the consumption of more fuel and therefore more GHG emissions, and more money charged to airlines. With today’s letters of formal notice the Commission asks Member States to act in order to optimise the implementation of FABs and air navigation services.

Moreover, the lack of progress on FABs is holding back the full implementation of the EU’s Single European Sky, which in turn generates inefficiencies in the entire European Air Traffic Management in the range of some 30 to 40 % of total air navigation costs and charges levied in Europe. This represents a loss of some 5 billion euros annually. Additionally, planned safety enhancements in the Single European Sky are negatively impacted.

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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