New regulatory group to support Borealis programme

09 March 2015

The National Supervisory Authorities (NSAs) responsible for regulating civil aviation in nine North European States have agreed to work together to support a major programme delivering Free Route Airspace across Northern Europe, in what is a major step forward for the Single European Sky initiative.

The Borealis Alliance, an industrial partnership consisting of nine European Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs), last month announced the launch of a programme to deliver seamless and integrated free route airspace across the whole of Northern Europe by 2020, enabling airspace users to plan and take the most cost effective, fuel efficient and timely routes across the entire airspace managed by Borealis members.

Now, following a workshop jointly organised by the Borealis Alliance and the NSAs and hosted by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority, the regulators of the nine ANSPs have established a working group to explore the best way to improve regulatory cooperation across all nine States for the Borealis Alliance Free Route Airspace programme and its subsequent projects.

While regulatory cooperation already takes place through existing mechanisms including bilateral agreements between States and  the existing three Functional Airspace Blocks (FAB), today’s commitment to explore a consistent regulatory approach for a programme of this scale represents a significant step forward in regulatory cooperation.

Phil Roberts, Head of Airspace, Air Traffic Management and Aerodromes at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, speaking on behalf of the regulators, commented: “This workshop has provided an ideal opportunity to consider how the regulators from 9 States can work together more effectively in order to facilitate the introduction of the Borealis projects.  This enables us to build on relationships that already exist in some places through existing FAB structures and develop new ones in other areas that currently do not exist.  We see this as a really exciting opportunity to share best practice and to find new ways of working that will be effective and efficient.”

Richard Deakin, Chair of the Borealis Alliance, said: “Today’s agreement marks a significant step forward in regulatory cooperation and demonstrates a major commitment from the NSAs regulating the Borealis airspace. Regulatory cooperation is just as important as cooperation between ANSPs in terms of reducing costs and improving performance for European Air Traffic Management and we’re delighted that the NSAs of the Borealis Alliance have agreed to work together to set in place the mechanisms required to make the vision of Free Route Airspace in Northern Europe a reality”.

Olle Sundin, Vice-Chair of the Alliance Board, added:  “This workshop is a successful example of an integrated partnership that includes both NSAs and Air Navigation Service Providers. We are working towards the same goal with the same ambition and are confident it will deliver results. In Borealis we will put all our efforts into delivering results that benefit our customers.”

The Borealis Free Route Airspace programme will build on work undertaken within the three existing Functional Airspace Blocks (FABs) – the Danish-Swedish, UK-Ireland and North European (NEFAB).  NSAs regulating Borealis partners are widening the scope of their cooperation and exploring the options for a consistent regulatory approach across the nine States to make it as easy as possible for the members of the Borealis Alliance to safely implement Free Route Airspace across Northern Europe.


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