Functional Airspace Blocks (FAB) in south-west and central Europe have started to co-operate in a bid to boost capacity and flight efficiency in the regional network.
Both short and medium term measures have been addressed such as the upcoming implementation of the ERATO system in Bordeaux, the connectivity of free route airspace and the implementation of Extended Arrival Management. The Network Manager has been informed accordingly and will support this interFAB initiative.
The first step is to address the operational interface between the area control centres (ACC) of Barcelona and Bordeaux to improve the throughput and reduce delays. Taking into consideration the significant network effect, the focus will be broadened including the ACCs of Bordeaux, Brest, Barcelona and Madrid.
This is based on the successful collaboration between Madrid and Bordeaux ACC as part of the BAMBI/ESSO project which will improve the airspace interface with an agreed implementation date of autumn 2017. Extended collaboration was already considered with Barcelona and Lisbon as part of the network effect for the benefit of airline operators.
A special focus has been put on the system implementation of ERATO in Bordeaux in late autumn 2016 impacting the traffic flows within SW FAB and FABEC, including French, Spanish and Portuguese airspace.
DSNA, ENAIRE and NAV Portugal have agreed to work closely together to minimise the impact on airspace users trying to plan the most optimum re-routing options at a network level. Consequently, the important role that Network Manager plays in this regard has been recognised and close cooperation will be essential.
Regarding Free Route Airspace implementation, it has been decided to firmly commit to the extension of the SW FAB FRA concept into FABEC airspace and thus allow airspace users to fly more direct routes, independent of FAB and national boundaries.
A task force between DSNA, ENAIRE and NAV Portugal will first analyse long range direct routes through the airspace of Lisbon, Madrid and Brest ACC to best serve the crowded Europe SW axis. Due to the strong interrelationship with planned Casablanca FRA concept and the large volume of airspace affected, the Network Manager has been invited to support this important Europe-wide project. FABEC and SW FAB will also study possible cooperation in XMAN implementation.