Functional Airspace Block (FAB)

Description

Functional Airspace Block (FAB) means an airspace block based on operational requirements and established regardless of State boundaries, where the provision of air navigation services and related functions are performance-driven and optimized with a view to introducing, in each functional airspace block, enhanced cooperation among air navigation service providers or, where appropriate, an integrated provider. (SES Framework Regulation)

Regulatory Requirements

The Single European Sky Service Provision Regulation requires that by 4 December 2012, Member States shall take all necessary measures in order to ensure the implementation of functional airspace blocks with a view to achieving the required capacity and efficiency of the air traffic management network within the Single European Sky and maintaining a high level of safety and contributing to the overall performance of the air transport system and a reduced environmental impact.

The requirements for the establishment of Functional Airspace Blocks (FAB) are defined in the EUROCONTROL Report on the European Commission’s Mandate on the subject. It identifies improvements in flight-efficiency within each FAB which provides significant opportunities for savings to operators and benefits for the environment. According to EUROCONTROL, one quarter of European route extension issues can only be solved across FABs and Europe-wide, a strong and effective network management and design function at European level is necessary.

FAB Initiatives

Overall nine FAB initiatives have been declared to the European Commission:

The table below indicates the Member States who have declared their involvement in FAB development:

FAB INITIATIVEMEMBER STATES
Baltic FABLithuania and Poland
Danish - Swedish FABDenmark and Sweden
North European FAB (NEFAB)Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Norway
FAB UK-IrelandUnited Kingdom and Ireland
FAB Europe Central (FABEC)Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland and EUROCONTROL Maastricht
FAB Central Europe (FAB-CE)Austria, Bosnia & HerzegovinaCroatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovak Republic and Slovenia
Danube FABBulgaria and Romania
South West FABPortugal and Spain
FAB Blue MEDCyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta. (AlbaniaEgypt and Tunisia, as associate partners. Kingdom of Jordan and Lebanon as observers

FAB Common Objectives

The FABs share common strategic objectives:

  • Safety: ensure an improved safety level despite civilian traffic growth;
  • Capacity: meet the demand of civil air traffic foreseen to increase;
  • Cost-effectiveness: balance the cost of operations within FABs by establishing more effective route structure and ATC service;
  • Flight efficiency: improve flight efficiency through improvements in routes, flight profiles and distances flown;
  • Environment: reduce the impact on the environment through improvements in routes, flight profiles and distances flown.
  • Military mission effectiveness: improve military mission effectiveness through improved training capabilities and readiness postures as required by States.

Related Articles

Further Reading

European Commission

EUROCONTROL

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