FAB CE (Functional Airspace Block Central Europe) is a joint initiative of 7 states (Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia) and ANSPs (Austro Control, BHANSA, Croatia Control, ANS CR, HungaroControl, LPS SR, Slovenia Control) from Central Europe.

To meet the future needs of a growing air travel and transport industry, the European ATM needs to become more flexible, harmonised and seamless. The European Commission’s SES initiative aims at the unification of European airspace. The creation of FABs independent of national boundaries will optimise airspace usage and capacity, making the flow of air traffic over Europe more efficient.

The FAB CE Agreement, as well as FAB CE ANSP Cooperation Agreement, were signed in May 2011. The implementation of FAB CE will maintain and, wherever possible, improve the current level of safety notwithstanding the increased traffic, through the establishment of a common safety management system.

The ATM services within the FAB CE will be provided in an environment characterised by the cross-border airspace design and extensive cross-border sectorisation. The airspace design process will therefore not be constrained by borders between the FAB CE States, but will be based on operational needs and air traffic flows resulting in better horizontal and vertical flight efficiency, improvements in productivity and the consequent increase in capacity.

With the FRA concept, the users will be able to freely plan a route between a defined entry and exit point, with the possibility to route via intermediate (published or unpublished) way points, without reference to the ATS route network. The step by step realisation within FAB CE will result in incremental benefits by applying FRA structures and principles and deploying FRA stepwise across the borders to a FAB CE-wide implementation by 2018.

FAB CE will result in a reduction of flight delays, while handling more air traffic at the same time. Capacity will be increased to cope with the expected rise of traffic. The enhancement of civil military cooperation and application of the flexible use of airspace will also be a benefitting factor to capacity. A communication network is the key enabler for cross-border operations. It will improve cost efficiency by replacing the point-to-point connections with network connectivity. Frequency management will allow best use of a limited aviation radio spectrum.