Baltic FAB

Baltic Functional Airspace Block (Baltic FAB) is a cooperative arrangement between Poland and Lithuania in the field of air navigation services, set on July, 17th, 2012 in Vilnius. To implement the EU’s Single European Sky concept the States, National Supervisory Authorities and Air Navigation Service Providers brought together their expertise, efforts and willingness for innovative changes. The main focus of the Baltic FAB is optimal performance of all users of two countries’ aggregated airspace comprising Warsaw and Vilnius flight information regions (FIRs).

Baltic FAB exists not only to comply with European legislation and bring to life the EU’s concept of reducing fragmentation of air navigation service provision within Europe. Apart from the concept itself there is a “window of opportunity” for all FAB members in various areas like industrial partnership, international cooperation, best practice sharing, research and development. We work together to improve the individual performance of each member as well as to create synergies for the whole Baltic FAB in order to meet challenges of global diversity.

The Baltic FAB vision is to be one of the three most important FABs in SES by:

  • developing innovative product and service solutions,
  • involving other ANSPs into the Baltic FAB ,
  • actively supporting national and neighbouring initiatives consistent with the Baltic FAB mission,
  • operating as single efficient environment attractive and open for other FABs.

Mission Statement

The Baltic FAB mission is to achieve and spread to FABs and non-EU States the ways of achieving optimal performance in the areas relating to safety, flight efficiency, capacity, reduction of the negative impact on environment, cost-efficiency and to contribute to military mission effectiveness by the design of airspace and the organization of air traffic management regardless of the existing boundaries of the Baltic FAB States.

Baltic FAB Strategic Objectives

To achieve the vision of the Baltic FAB the following strategic objectives have been identified:

  • To extend the scope by involving other FABs, ANSPs, and non-EU States,
  • To develop innovative solutions,
  • To operate as a single business-oriented, efficient organization,
  • To introduce and promote a value-driven organizational model,
  • To provide services not linked to the site of provision.

Functional Airspace Block

FABs: a tool to develop a Single European Sky

The concept of FABs was defined in the 1st legislative package (2004) of the SES and further developed in the 2nd legislative package (2009). The creation of FABs is one of the cornerstones of the SES.

FABs are important for reducing airspace fragmentation andnecessary to accommodate the steadily growing traffic, as well as to minimise delays by managing the traffic more dynamically. Objectives for enhancing current safety standards and overall efficiency can best be achieved by increasing the scale of operations, regardless of national borders. This also implies civil-military coordination in airspace and ATM. Under European Union legislation, Member States are legally obliged to seek and investigate the possibilities for cooperation that would best meet the objectives whilst ensuring that a number of requirements are met before establishing FABs through agreements between Member States. Such agreements should also cover the issues of responsibility and liability.

The service provision Regulation (Regulation (EC) N° 550/2004) as amended by Regulation (EU) N° 1070/2009 foresees in its Article 9a that FABs shall respect the following criteria:

  • be supported by a safety case
  • enable optimum use of airspace, taking into account air traffic flows
  • ensure consistency with the European route network established in accordance with Article 6 of the Airspace Regulation
  • be justified by their overall added value, including optimal use of technical and human resources, on the basis of cost-benefit analyses
  • ensure a fluent and flexible transfer of responsibility for air traffic control between air traffic service units
  • ensure compatibility between the configurations of upper and lower airspace
  • comply with conditions stemming from regional agreements concluded within the ICAO
  • respect regional agreements in existence on the date of entry into force of this Regulation, in particular those involving European third countries
  • facilitate consistency with EU-wide performance targets.

Nine FABs established

All nine FABs have been declared, established and notified to the European Commission:

  • UK-Ireland FAB
  • Danish-Swedish FAB
  • Baltic FAB (Lithuania, Poland)
  • BLUE MED FAB (Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta)
  • Danube FAB (Bulgaria, Romania)
  • FAB CE (Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovak Republic, Slovenia)
  • FABEC (Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland)
  • North European FAB (Estonia, Finland, Latvia, and Norway)
  • South West FAB (Portugal, Spain).
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