The Baltic functional airspace block has been operating for a decade
in 2022 on December 7, the fifth meeting of the Baltic Functional Airspace Block (FOEB) Council took place in Warsaw. Among the main topics of the meeting are FOEB’s cooperation with Eurocontrol in the development of backup solutions for the provision of air traffic services (ATS) on a regional scale, the resolution of unforeseen cases and ensuring the continuity of operations in the context of Russia’s war with Ukraine.
The current legal framework of the Baltic FOEB is based on the agreement on the establishment of the Baltic Functional Airspace Block between the Republic of Poland and the Republic of Lithuania , signed in 2012. July 17 In Vilnius.
Together with additional agreements signed by national supervisory authorities (NSAs) and air navigation service providers (ANSPs), the FOEB promotes effective cooperation between Poland and Lithuania under the FAB concept of the European Union.
The FOEB concept is the key to improved operational capacity and efficiency, enhanced safety and lower costs for air navigation services through increased international cooperation and integration, and is one way to reduce the fragmentation of European air traffic management (ATM).
The cooperation, which has lasted for more than a decade, has shown that the Baltic FOEB is a useful tool in order to implement the comprehensive concepts of the Single European Sky.
In recent years, the air navigation service providers of the Baltic FOEB (Air Navigation and the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency) have made significant progress in terms of regional engagement and operational activities, including:
- in 2022 February 24 implemented Baltic FRA (free route airspace),
- cooperation in the iTEC alliance in developing a new generation air traffic management system,
- cooperation in SESAR 2020 and SESAR 3 research program projects,
- communicative and educational activities, including the organization of international seminars and discussion panels.
An extremely important topic of Baltic FOEB cooperation is backup solutions for the provision of air traffic services (ATS) on a regional scale, the relevance of which manifests itself in periods of significant (long-term and short-term) fluctuations in flight flows (due to wars, bandwidth challenges in the region, strikes). For these reasons, the Baltic FOEB states are planning to evaluate Eurocontrol’s proposal to implement a pilot project for the delegation of ATS services. The Council approved this initiative and assigned the task to Baltic FOEB air navigation service providers and supervisory authorities to evaluate the benefits, risks, necessary operational, technological, legal and financial aspects of such a project.
The Council of the Baltic Functional Airspace Block, taking into account the Russian war against Ukraine and the growing hybrid actions of this country, agreed that it is necessary to strengthen bilateral civil and military actions.
The Baltic FOEB Council affirms that timely and proactive airspace military activities in peacetime are very important.