Baltic Functional Airspace Block strengthens cooperation with Ukraine

Air navigation at the airport in Vilnius
Augustas Didžgalvis

The memorandum was signed in Krakow, Poland, by Acting Director General of Oro navigacija Mindaugas Gustys, President of PANSA Janusz Niedziela and by Director of UkSATSE Dmytro Babeichuk.

This is another step towards closer cooperation between air navigation service providers, located on the eastern border of the EU, with Ukrainian Air Navigation Service Provider, which is a member of EUROCONTROL, and its country seeks for membership in EU.

Under the memorandum, the parties will strive for intensive cooperation on aviation infrastructure development and airspace management, particularly in the area of the preparation and development of operating systems for air traffic control and the deployment of Free Route Airspace.

The actions and projects involved will contribute to better planning and organization of air traffic management in this part of Europe.

Baltic Functional Airspace Block (Baltic FAB) is a cooperative arrangement signed in 2012 between Poland and Lithuania in the field of air navigation services. 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).

In 2013 both Baltic FAB ANSPs – Oro navigacija and PANSA – became the founding members of GATE ONE, one of the largest regional ANSP platforms in Europe.

GATE ONE comprises the airspace between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea and is one of the most important gateways of the European continent: this region handles air traffic in the directions of North and South, East and West, maintaining links between the central and Nordic countries of the European Union as well as with the continent of Asia and the region of the Middle East. Today GATE ONE consists of Air Navigation Service Providers of 13 European countries. Collectively the GATE ONE members handles about 35% of the total number of European Air Traffic.

In 2016 both members of Baltic FAB – Oro navigacija and PANSA – joined the European Itec (Interoperability Through European Collaboration) alliance, the members of which are the air navigation service providers of Germany (DFS), the United Kingdom (NATS), the Netherlands (LVNL) and Norway (AVINOR). Participation in alliance and implementation of advanced technologies in the sphere of air navigation services are expected to reduce the costs and environmental impact, and to improve flight punctuality.

In 2016 on the basis of B4 Consortium together with the Chech, Slovak Air Nvigation Service Providers, Oro navigacija and PANSA became members of SESAR 2020 Programme co-financed by the European Union. The Programme invites scientists, aviation experts and manufacturers of air traffic control equipment to condect investigations in the domain of air traffic management, with a special focus on flight effectiveness and environmental impact.

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