Functional Airspace Blocks (FABs) are an initiative of the European Commission, designed to try and defragment Europe’s airspace. They oblige States, Air Navigation Service Providers and National Supervisory Authorities to cooperate across borders in order to try and better manage traffic flows to both improve performance and reduce costs. There are currently nine Functional Airspace Blocks.
The UK-Ireland FAB acts as Europe’s North Atlantic gateway, with around 90% of North Atlantic traffic passing through Irish or UK airspace.
In the first four years of operation it delivered over €70m of enabled savings to customers, including 232,000 tonnes of CO2 and 73,000 tonnes of fuel. Major projects have included the first-ever operational trial of cross-border dynamic sectorisation – the tactical switching of air traffic services between providers and a world-first operational trial of cross-border arrival management procedures, slowing down aircraft across borders in order to reduce the time they are required to spend in airport holding stacks.
The latest FAB performance plan sets out how the UK-Ireland FAB will contribute to SES objectives between 2015 and 2019.
Further details can be found on the UK-Ireland FAB website.
Network Management NATS works with others to help keep Europe’s airspace network operating efficiently.