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Brussels, 25 February2011

Air transport: Another major step toward the establishment of the European Single Sky

The European Commission has today adopted rules to harmonise information between all the actors involved in creating the Single European Sky (SES). Member States decided to put an end to the fragmentation of Europe's air space by creating between themselves nine common geographical air spaces by December 2012: the Functional Airspace Blocks (FABs). The Regulation adopted today spells out the information to be exchanged between everyone involved.

Vice-President Siim Kallas, Commissioner responsible for transport, said: “This Regulation paves the way for a productive cooperation between all parties involved in Functional Airspace Blocks by clarifying the rules on exchanging information. It will really help to accelerate the creation of the Single European Sky ".

The creation of functional airspace blocks (FAB) is one of the cornerstones of the Single European Sky. FABs are a major tool for overcoming the fragmentation of our skies. Member States are responsible for establishing FABs, which will only be put in place following proper consultation of all stakeholders.

The FABs will improve current safety standards, enable planes to take much shorter routes and as a result will reduce aviation's impact on the environment, minimise delays, lower costs for companies and finally make flights cheaper for passengers. Today's Regulation will allow comparative assessment of different FABs and sound mutual consultations of all actors involved. It will keep the Commission and other bodies informed of their progress and any modifications that could affect other FABs.

In fulfilling the information requirements, Members States will give FABs the tools for establishing a performing European airspace by the deadline required by the European Parliament and the Council. For air navigation service providers they will facilitate the response to new binding performance targets established under the Single European Sky legislation.

Functional Airspace Blocks:

Map of the FABs:

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