Danube FAB

The Functional Airspace Block (FAB) between the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania (DANUBE FAB) was established with the signing by the Ministers of Transport of the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania on 12 December 2011 of Inter-State Agreement, which entered into force on 16 November 2012, following ratification by the parliaments of both countries and abiding by the final date 4 December 2012, set by the European Commission for establishment of FABs in Europe.

The establishment of DANUBE FAB is an essential element of the Single European Sky (SES) legislative framework which creates a system of measures for provision of sufficient capacity for servicing the increasing number of flights over Europe, decreasing delays, improving safety and cost-efficiency of the air navigation services, while reducing the impact on the environment.  

Governing Structure

DANUBE FAB has the following governing structure:

The highest governing body of DANUBE FAB is the Governing Council (GC) which reviews issues related to the DANUBE FAB development and provides strategic guidance for future actions. The Governing Council is supported by National Supervisory Authority Board (NSA Board) and Air Navigation Services Providers Board (ANSP Board).  

The DANUBE FAB Airspace Policy Body monitors the application of Flexible Use of Airspace in the Cross-Border Sectors for air traffic services within the FAB.

Main items

  • BULATSA, together with the air navigation services providers of Romania and Hungary –  ROMATSA and HungaroControl, expanded the Free Route Airspace for flights during the night within the airspace of the three countries. The SEEN FRA (South-East Night Free Route Airspace) project represents the second phase of a large-scale project for introduction of Free Route Airspace within DANUBE FAB. SEEN FRA enables the aircraft to fly freely between published entry and exit points in the airspace and radio-navigation means, irrespective of the existing airspace route system. The project significantly optimizes the airspace routes without limitations from the state borders and reduces the fuel costs and emissions from aviation. Improvement of airspace organization within DANUBE FAB is a priority task for the joint Bulgarian and Romanian team of the functional block. For this purpose are conducted continuous studies and large-scale simulations for assessment of different scenarios for route organization, considering the indicators flight efficiency, safety, capacity, protection of the environment, etc.
  • In the period 6 – 8 March 2018 the DANUBE FAB partner Air Navigation Services Provides (ANSPs) – BULATSA and ROMATSA, demonstrated the practical benefits of their cooperation through jointly exhibiting at the World ATM Congress 2018 in Madrid. In the SESAR walking tour within the Congress, BULATSA and ROMATSA experts presented joint projects related to SESAR – “Advantages and applications of the New Pan-European Network Services (NewPens)”, as well as the project for introduction of South-East Night Free Route Airspace (SEEN FRA). DANUBE FAB experience and know-how were demonstrated within the InterFAB panel "Effect of Traffic Volatility on Air Traffic Management". DANUBE FAB partner ANSPs hosted a debate on dealing with the present and future challenges in the ATM cyber security domain. The participants discussed the latest developments in the European legislation related to cyber security and the necessity for introduction of new technologies. The implementation of Cyber Security Operational Centres (SOC) was also presented along with their concept, hardware and software platforms, roles, responsibilities and future developments. At the debate the participants highlighted the exchange of information for cyber incidents between the local SOCs within DANUBE FAB with the European ATM Computer Emergency Response Teams – EATM-CERT and EU-CERT, and other stakeholders. Exercises and training on cyber security at European level (Cyber 2018) were also discussed.
  • The CEOs of BULATSA, ROMATSA and SMATSA had a meeting in Belgrade, Serbia, on 6 February 2018, to discuss potential areas of cooperation. DANUBE FAB and SMATSA management representatives agreed to strengthen their efforts in the operational domain (such as coherent Free Route Airspace implementation), as well as in the technical field (Global Navigation Satellite System – GNSS, use of satellites in communication, navigation and surveillance, cyber security). Other subjects of discussions were the upcoming regulatory changes within the Third Reference Period (RP3), the future of FABs and development of the free route airspace initiative, considering the common border between Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria.
  • Since 2015 the Republic of Macedonia has been participating, with observer status, in the regular meetings of the DANUBE FAB Governing Council, which contributes to the achievement of one of the long-term SES goals – expanding the SES policy towards countries outside of EU. 
  • DANUBE FAB is an active participant in the mechanism for cooperation between FABs in Europe (InterFab Coordination Platform). The purpose of the platform is coordination between the nine established FABs to share experience and ideas for coordinated development. Within the platform, DANUBE FAB participates in specialized expert meetings on operational, technical and communication topics. DANUBE FAB hosted the first workshop on performance of ANS provision between FABs, which took place on 31 January and 1 February 2018 in Sofia. Representatives of FABCE, FABEC, Baltic FAB and BLUE MED FAB participated in the meeting, as well as delegates from the Republic of Macedonia, as observers to DANUBE FAB. Following a meeting hosted by BULATSA on the performance of ANS provision held in February 2018 in Sofia, BULATSA participated in a second meeting on the same topic held on 17 May 2018 and organized by the ANS provider of Poland. The performance of the FABs and the forthcoming amendment of the Implementing regulation laying down a performance and charging scheme in the Single European Sky were amongst the main topics of the meeting. A FABEC comparison study on the ANS provision in Europe and the United States was also presented. In addition, BULATSA participated in a workshop on "Air traffic volatility and its impact on ATM performance", held in Warsaw on 15-16 May 2018. The event enabled vast knowledge and experience exchange between the academia, ATM experts and operational staff.
  • Within DANUBE FAB are conducted regular meetings of the Social Consultation Forum between the social partners of BULATSA and ROMATSA, and representatives of the management of the two organizations. The last, thirteenth meeting of the forum took place on 15 February 2018 in Sinaia, Romania.

For additional information:

Functional airspace blocks (FABs) – Transport:


Danube FAB:


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