The Polish and Lithuanian Functional Airspace Block (Baltic FAB)
On 29 July 2010 in Vilnius, Polish Secretary of State at the Ministry of Infrastructure, Tadeusz Jarmuziewicz and Lithuania’s Vice Minister of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania, Rimvydas Va?takas signed a Letter of Intent (Lol) on cooperation with regard to the development of the Baltic Functional Airspace Block Initiative.
The Letter of Intent establishes institutional grounds for the continuation by the respective Ministries competent for transport and all involved stakeholders of the activities, which have been carried out on the operational level for the past few years and are geared towards achieving the timely and efficient realization of the Single European Sky objectives.
During the talks the parties emphasized the necessity for the establishment of more efficient, safe and airspace users- friendly air traffic management system.
"We hope that these few years of operational cooperation between our countries in the scope of integration and harmonization of air traffic management systems could be reinforced by a joint declaration expressed at the ministerial level whereby we would undertake to continue Baltic FAB initiative with a view to establishing the Polish and Lithuanian FAB within the time-limits determined in the Single European Sky II legislative package" – said Minister Tadeusz Jarmuziewicz during the meeting.
The Ministers agreed to establish a joint Strategic Committee and relevant working groups to facilitate and streamline works in the future and ensure the forum of cooperation with the involvement of state authorities. During the meeting the parties declared also, that the initiative should be open to other countries interested in joining the Baltic FAB in future. The Ministers also emphasized the necessity of coordinating works with the neighbouring FAB’s initiatives, as well as with the third countries.
The main objective underlying the establishment of the FAB in Europe involves achieving the maximum capacity and efficiency of the air traffic management network, shortening of flight routes, which translates directly into achieving the reduction in aviation fuel consumption and the abatement of aviation CO2 emissions without detriment to the high level safety performance, as well as the improvement of cost-efficiency ratio of air navigation services providers. In line with the objectives of the Single European Sky II (SES II) legislative package the functional airspace blocks are the key elements enabling better cooperation between the institutions providing air navigation services, contributing to the enhancement of work efficiency and the reduction of costs. The EU Member States are obliged to complete the establishment of FABs no later than 4 December 2010.