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Six neighbours to create a single joint airspace

Dutch part of trend-setting pact

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE - The Netherlands and five neighbouring countries have taken steps towards the formation of a single joint airspace. Their Functional Airspace Block (FAB) is intended to become the model for a Single European Sky.

The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland are working on a treaty whereby national borders will disappear for air traffic. The pact could be signed in 2010.

The civil and military aviation authorities of the six countries are now reviewing a feasibility study for an air traffic control system that is not bound to national borders and that will substantially improve the efficiency of air traffic services. Officials from the six countries are currently in the process of analyzing the study so that they can reach a decision on setting up FAB.

In November 2008, the six countries plan to initial a preliminary agreement in which they express the intention of creating the necessary institutional basis for attaining a treaty in 2010. A cross border air traffic control system is considered to be foundational to the creation of a Single European Sky. The European Commission took the first initiative towards this goal in 2004.