A new report published today highlights how the UK-Ireland Functional Airspace Block (FAB) has successfully delivered real savings to airline customers as part of the drive towards the Single European Sky.
The report, available on the newly launched UK-Ireland FAB website www.ukirelandfab.eu, shows that in 2012 the FAB delivered an estimated €27m of enabled savings to airlines, including 25,000 tonnes of fuel savings, equivalent to 80,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
The IAA and NATS, as air navigation service providers, are achieving these operational and cost efficiencies through ever closer organisational and technological integration. Constructive engagement with airline and military partners has been a crucial factor in the success of the FAB.
Eamonn Brennan, Irish Aviation Authority CEO said ‘The UK-Ireland FAB is delivering real savings for our airline customers and the environment and is leading the way in the Single European Sky project. We have initiated programmes that are real stepping stones that facilitate ever closer cooperation that in turn enables ever greater savings’.
Richard Deakin, Chief Executive Officer of NATS, added: ‘By putting airspace users at the heart of the FAB structure we have ensured that the projects delivered help to reduce airlines costs and decrease the impact on the environment, generating real benefits to customers. We are delighted with the level of customer engagement the FAB has achieved’.
The report highlights a number of projects that the UK-Ireland FAB has successfully implemented in 2012 and the first half of 2013. These include the High Level Sectors feasibility study, Point Merge at Dublin Airport, which has practically eradicated the need to put approaching aircraft in traditional holding patterns, and integrated FAB Network Management organisation, which has made transition from and to the North Atlantic much smoother for airlines. These projects have delivered real benefits to airlines and airspace users, increasing efficiency and reducing environmental impact.
To continue this success the FAB is planning further improvements and, for example, has plans for activities in 2013 such as providing a joint Safety Management Manual and starting an operational trial of Dynamic Sectorisation.
Tobin Miller of American Airlines and Mark Deacon of Monarch, the airline representatives on the FAB, added: “Customer involvement in the FAB is vital and has helped to ensure that it delivers tangible benefits to airspace users. We believe that excellent progress has been made in 2012 and look forward to continuing this work through into 2013, ensuring the FAB builds on this year’s success.”
The first FAB to be established, in 2008, the UK-Ireland FAB has to date delivered over €70m of enabled savings to customers, including 232,000 tonnes of CO2 and 73,000 tonnes of fuel, through innovative airspace enhancements that facilitate more direct aircraft routings.