The Functional Airspace Block (FAB) between the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania (DANUBE FAB) was established with the signing by the Ministers of Transport of the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania on 12 December 2011 of Inter-State Agreement, which entered into force on 16 November 2012, following ratification by the parliaments of both countries and abiding by the final date 4 December 2012, set by the European Commission for establishment of FABs in Europe.
The establishment of DANUBE FAB is an essential element of the Single European Sky (SES) legislative framework which creates a system of measures for provision of sufficient capacity for servicing the increasing number of flights over Europe, decreasing delays, improving safety and cost-efficiency of the air navigation services, while reducing the impact on the environment.
DANUBE FAB has the following governing structure:
The highest governing body of DANUBE FAB is the Governing Council (GC) which reviews issues related to the DANUBE FAB development and provides strategic guidance for future actions. The Governing Council is supported by National Supervisory Authority Board (NSA Board) and Air Navigation Services Providers Board (ANSP Board).
The DANUBE FAB Airspace Policy Body monitors the application of Flexible Use of Airspace in the Cross-Border Sectors for air traffic services within the FAB.
A major achievement of DANUBE FAB for 2015 was the granted to the Republic of Macedonia observer status to DANUBE FAB GC, which contributes to the achievement of one of the long-term SES goals – expansion of SES policy to non-EU countries;
DANUBE FAB is one of the leaders and hosted a workshop of the newly created mechanism for cooperation between FABs in Europe (InterFab Coordination Platform), which took place on 14-15 October 2015 in Bucharest, Romania. The purpose of the platform is coordination between the 9 established FABs for sharing lessons learnt and ideas for coordinated FAB development in Europe;
In October 2015 DANUBE FAB and FABCE – the FAB of Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic and Hungary, concluded a Cooperation Agreement at ANSP level which represents an element of the active work for establishment of deeper cooperation with neighboring FABs;
A key achievement of DANUBE FAB is the establishment in 2014 of two Cross-Border Sectors (CBS) for air traffic services, marking the first time such a step was undertaken within a FAB in Europe. The implementation of the two CBS was based on the operational requirements for optimal use of airspace, regardless of national boundaries. The implementation of CBS between Bulgaria and Romania represents a new stage towards defragmentation of the European airspace – a key objective of Single European Sky;
The improvement of airspace organization within DANUBE FAB is a continuous and high-priority task for the joint Bulgarian-Romanian team for management of FAB activities. For this purpose, are conducted large-scale simulations and research in order to assess and compare different options for airspace and route organizations in DANUBE FAB, considering the performance indicators for flight effectiveness, safety, capacity, etc. Key example are the conducted in November 2015 real-time simulations at the EUROCONTROL Experiment Centre in Bretigny, France, for implementation within DANUBE FAB of Free Route Airspace (FRA). The purpose of the simulations was to determine the conditions under which FRA operations can move from night to 24-hour mode safely, effectively and with acceptable workload to the air traffic controllers;
The second phase of the Free Route airspace project was launched, aimed at the establishment of a three-State night free route airspace between Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria (South East Europe Night Free Route Airspace (SEEN FRA);
Within DANUBE FAB the necessary arrangements are in place for conduction of joint public procurements with the purpose of rationalization of the technical infrastructure and improving the cost-effectiveness through economies of scale;
Within the FAB has been established DANUBE FAB Social Consultation Forum which represents a mechanism for cooperation with the social partners in BULATSA and ROMATSA. The last eleventh session of the forum took place on 25-27 May 2016 in Romania.
For additional information:
Functional airspace blocks (FABs) – Transport: