ANSPs sign Memorandum of Understanding concerning combined airspace

08 March 2011

Air Navigation Service Providers of the Ireland/ UK and Denmark/Sweden Functional Airspace Blocks sign Memorandum of Understanding towards greater efficiency across their combined airspace.

Amsterdam, Tuesday 8th March 2011 – The Air Navigation Service Providers of the Ireland/UK and Denmark/Sweden Functional Airspace Blocks have today signed a Memorandum of Understanding, designed to drive forward progress towards greater flight efficiency, cost efficiency and operational consistency in line with SES performance goals.

Under the terms of the MoU, the IAA, NATS, Naviair and LFV will investigate the benefits of a closer, more integrated working relationship.  The ANSPs will focus on practical performance improvements, such as enhancing flight efficiency in combined airspace, a Common Transition Altitude, network performance and development of centres of excellence.  In doing so, they will continue to co-operate closely with their other Northern European ANS Providers (NEAP) Partners and consider the potential for the establishment of a combined NEAP FAB in due course.

Both FABs – the only two to be formally established so far – have already made significant progress.  LFV and Naviair have together formed an operating company, NUAC, and have set up a common ATCO training college, Entry Point North.  Achievements under the Ireland/UK FAB include the creation of a route-free block of upper air space, night time fuel saving routes and the introduction of North Atlantic continuous descent approaches for Manchester arrivals, collectively saving over 142,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum. The potential to drive further efficiencies and cost savings through the integration of these two existing FABs will also be considered as part of this initiative.

This agreement represents the natural next step to build on these successes; working together across a wider area and tackling new ways to improve performance, not between the FABs, but across them.

Richard Deakin, Chief Executive Officer of NATS, said: “This MoU is a progressive step which opens up the possibility of a closer alliance between us all.  I am very keen to work together on this great opportunity to extend the benefits of our FABs, pushing forward performance in European Airspace.”

Eamonn Brennan, Chief Executive Officer of IAA, said: “The aviation industry demand for enhanced ATM performance and lower costs requires proactivity and forward thinking in all respects and this co-operation agreement provides for this.”

Thomas Allard, Director General of LFV, said: “The airspace covered by the two FABs, as well as the number of flights within it, is so large, that our co-operation will lead to extensive benefits for our customers in the airline business. And the long-sighted perspective of establishing the even larger NEAP FAB is, by this agreement, a step closer to realisation.”

Morten Dambaek, Chief Executive Officer of Naviair, said: ”This agreement keeps focus on the value of expanding integration of FABs and the enhanced benefits for the prerequisite of safety, the need to achieve highly efficient airspace and a flexible performance for the lowest cost. At the same time it is very positive that we together maintain a high momentum in the process of implementing the Single European Sky programme.”

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