Local deployment of MARIA Model within BULATSA successfully completed

Home / Media center / Archive by category 'News'

Local deployment of MARIA Model within BULATSA successfully completed

After just over a year and despite the pandemic that shook lives and organizations, the project to implement NAV Portugal’s “Model of ATM Reality In Action” (MARIA) at BULATSA was successfully completed.

Thanks to the successful partnership between the Portuguese and the Bulgarian ANSP, the MARIA is now a reality in BULATSA. This collaboration involved training, data collection and the modelling of the functional system used by BULATSA’s to provide ANS and MET services at both Sofia’s Area Control Center and Control Tower.

According to Nikolay Sokolov, Director of Safety and Quality at BULATSA, the model’s great potential will be used in the change management process, enhancing the scoping of the change and allowing for identification of the change impacts both within the functional system and external to the change interfaces. MARIA is very much appreciated in BULATSA as it introduces a very pragmatic approach towards safety assessment development which follows the everyday operations.

The BULATSA Director also praised «working with Paula Santos and Paulo Monteiro on all the aspects of the project – from the data collection and model development to the Safety Assessment validating the local Model was a fantastic experience», considering that their knowledge, enthusiasm and adaptiveness helped enormously towards completing the project entirely online due to the established travel restrictions.

Paula Santos, responsible for the MARIA project at NAV Portugal, highlighted in turn that the commitment and cooperation of Galina Lavrova and Marin Petrov and the ever-present support of Nikolay Sokolov were decisive in the success of this project. This support was particularly decisive as the travel ban resulted in all work having to be performed remotely, and this significantly hampered the task of collecting and validating data and modeling of the Bulgarian units.

It was a challenge that has been overcome and which required increased communication and understanding effort from both parties. In addition, the MARIA model evolved: already identified and prepared changes were validated and other improvements resulting from issues raised by Bulgarian technicians were introduced. One can say that this was indeed a fruitful cooperation», summed up Paula Santos.

Official launch of SESAR 3

On 14 December 2021 the SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking (SESAR 3 JU) was officially launched, marking a new chapter in the modernization of the European air traffic management.

A new European partnership, with the participation of BULATSA, brings together the EU, Eurocontrol and more than 50 organizations covering the entire aviation spectrum, including drones. Its participants will invest more than € 1.6 billion by 2030 to accelerate the achievement of a sustainable, inclusive and green digital European sky through research and innovation.

Building on the achievements of its predecessor, SESAR 3 shall drive an ambitious programme to prepare European aviation infrastructure for the digital age. The new partnership will also act as a catalyst to accelerate the transition to climate-neutral aviation, by focusing on solutions that can be implemented rapidly and bring environmental benefits in the short term.

SESAR 3 will work closely with regulatory and standardization bodies – the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and EUROCAE and the Deployment Manager to accelerate the implementation of decisions, create synergies between research and innovation activities at European and national level.


Airbus Defence & Space and BULATSA tested the jointly developed functionalities of the prototype TESLA

BULATSA hosted a meeting with representatives of Airbus Defence & Space to test functionalities of the prototype TESLA (Tactical Encounter SoLver Assistant). The activities are performed as part of project PJ.18 (PJ.18 PROSA Controller Tools and Team Organization for the Provision of Separation in the Air Traffic Management), Wave 2 under SESAR 2020 programme.

The TESLA prototype was developed by Airbus D&S, with the assistance and operational expertise of BULATSA. TESLA should provide Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs) with automated means of detecting and preventing conflicts between aircraft, increasing capacity and assisting the traffic management.

During the test sessions was installed up-to-date TESLA software and BULATSA ATCOs together with operational experts from both sides monitored the behavior of the functionalities of the prototype developed so far, through Air Traffic Management (ATM) simulation. The sessions were conducted in a test platform, specially equipped with workstations for ATCOs and pseudo-pilots – BULATSA Innovation Grid. The purpose was to identify areas for improvement and to find solutions with high added value, as well as to analyze the system interface. Various elements of TESLA were reviewed – in the context of safety, capacity, human factor, flight efficiency and environment.

“The thorough expertise of BULATSA colleagues helps Airbus D&S develop safe and sustainable future air traffic management systems. The strong and fruitful cooperation between the Bulgarian and French colleagues strengthens the connection between the teams and their effective work. SESAR programme connects the professionals.” said Andrian Nazaroi, Director ATM Products and Unmanned Aircraft Systems at Airbus D&S.

The test sessions facilitate the preparation for the upcoming validation of the new functionalities under SESAR 2020 PJ.18, before they are ready for implementation in an existing operational system.

“The conducted tests proved the progress in the jointly developed functionalities. BULATSA highly appreciates the years of joint work with the Airbus D&S team to help its French colleagues develop their innovative ideas and technologies for the future ATM systems” confirmed Valentin Vitekov, ATCO and PJ.18 Project Manager for BULATSA.


SESAR 2020 is a program of the European Union that focuses on the development and validation of technological solutions in the field of air traffic management. It is funded by the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

Seventeenth Meeting of the DANUBE FAB Social Consultation Forum

To ensure all stakeholders in DANUBE FAB are up to date with the progress made within the FAB in 2021, the 17th meeting of the Social Consultation Forum was held on 7th December 2021. The meeting allowed the social partners to hear about and comment on key initiatives ongoing in the FAB.

A presentation on the internal Strategic Impact Study was provided for the staff representatives who supported the FAB’s attempts to ensure it continues developing and adapting to the technical and regulatory changes currently ongoing at European level. The attendees were then informed of the FABs ambition to implement the recommendations identified as soon as possible to ensure the FAB is well placed in the coming months and years.

Next, the status of the DANUBE FAB High Priority Projects was outlined for attendees. Notable progress has been made on the expansion of SEE FRA with Moldova joining in February 2022, while the coordinated implementation of an extended set of OLDI messages has progressed significantly this year. The attendees were informed of upcoming projects too, for example, that DANUBE FAB shall look to jointly participate in SESAR 3 projects where possible, SEE FRA shall continue to expand with a merger with FRA Czech approved by both ANSPs, and new technical projects have been identified and shall be discussed in further detail before the end of 2021.

Finally, InterFAB coordination was discussed, with DANUBE FAB to hold an InterFAB Research Workshop in Sofia in September 2022 on the topic of Resilience.

The next DANUBE FAB social consultation will be organised in Spring 2022.

Seventeenth Meeting of the DANUBE FAB Governing Bodies

On 3rd November 2021, ROMATSA and BULATSA management teams met online for the seventeenth meeting of the DANUBE FAB ANSP Board. The meeting was co-chaired by Adrian COJOC, Director General ROMATSA and by Ivan DIAKSOV, Deputy Director General Operations, BULATSA.

With a view to increasing the level of cooperation and coordination at FAB level and identifying new emerging solutions to overcome the economic and social damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to the aviation sector, the participants reviewed the key activities completed throughout 2021, whilst looking ahead with discussions on potential future implementation projects that could be completed collaboratively by the FAB.

During this meeting, attendees were updated on projects that are soon to be completed by the FAB, most notably the inclusion of Chisinau CTA in SEE FRA (South-East Free Route Airspace) on 24th February 2022. In addition to this, the ongoing technical project to implement an extended set of OLDI messages was summarised for attendees. With a number of projects completed by DANUBE FAB in 2021, a refresh of technical documentation and projects has been completed and the proposed outputs of an internal Impact Study were presented to the Board. The Board discussed these findings in detail and is excited to see the progression DANUBE FAB can make in the coming years across a wide range of topics.

The seventeenth meeting of the DANUBE FAB Governing Council was held online on 4th November. The meeting was co-chaired by Claudia VIRLAN, Head of ATM/ANS Department, Romanian NSA, and Hristo SHTERIONOV, Director General, Bulgarian NSA. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Ministries of Transport, Civil and Military Aviation Authorities, National Supervisory Authorities and ANSPs from both countries. The Council was also pleased to welcome a delegation of observers from the Republic of North Macedonia.

The Council members reconfirmed their support to DANUBE FAB efforts to mitigate the COVID-induced severe impact on air traffic service provision resulting in a significant reduction of planned resources and discontinued solution activities. In doing so, the Council members reviewed the activities completed in 2021, looking ahead to those that have been discontinued or affected by the COVID pandemic, addressing at the same time potential future projects that could be completed jointly as a FAB. These activities focussed on our high priority projects: Free Route Airspace, Technical Rationalisation and Infrastructure, Enlargement of DANUBE FAB and InterFAB Cooperation.

The main updates focussed on the future plans of the FAB to continue to expand SEE FRA through advancing proposals made within the European Route Network Improvement Plan (ERNIP). Regarding future DANUBE FAB projects, members of the Council provided feedback on an internal Impact Study which shall help set to way forward for the FAB in the coming years, beginning with the Strategic Programme 2022-2026, due to be publicly released in early 2022.

Members discussed the main ongoing regulatory initiatives taking place at European level and their potential impact on the FAB. The SES 2+ recast proposals and the adapted Performance and Charging scheme were discussed and shall continue to be monitored as they progress. In addition to this, the Governing Council was informed of the InterFAB activities undertaken by the FAB in recent months and was also supportive of the research workshop on Resilience in ATM, due to be held in Sofia in September 2022.

Finally, the Governing Council was briefed on the status of the FAB procurements and the NSA Board Activity Report.

The next round of DANUBE FAB Governing Bodies meetings are planned for the spring of 2022.

CANSO’s 25th Annual General Meeting and Executive Summit and World ATM Congress 2021

BULATSA Director General, Mr. Georgi Peev, participated at CANSO 25th Annual General Meeting and Executive Summit, which took place on 25 October 2021 prior to the opening of the World ATM Congress  (WATMC), the world’s largest international air traffic management event operated by CANSO in partnership with the Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) between 26 and 28 October in Madrid, Spain.

These CANSO events kick started the activities related to the WATMC and provided a first opportunity since the pandemic began for CANSO Member CEOs to meet in person. Discussions were focused on the environmental impact of aviation, as well as on CANSO new vision for future skies for all airspace users developed in collaboration with leaders from across the aviation spectrum.

BULATSA DG also attended WATMC 2021 showcasing the latest ATM technological developments and solutions as well as the tendencies in the ATM industry with the attendance of leading product developers, experts, stakeholders, and air navigation service providers from 110 countries and 170 exhibitors


BULATSA reports a 51.19% increase in the number of serviced flights in September this year compared to September 2020, as their total number last month was 61,573. An increase of over 54 percent was reported in the number of serviced international flights – departures and arrivals. In September this year, the Bulgarian air traffic controllers serviced a total of 6,920 international flights, whereas for comparison their number for the same period last year was 4,482.

There is also an increase in the number of serviced transit aircraft, which in September this year was 53,237, and in September 2020 – 34,657, which is an increase of 53.6 percent.

A decrease – by 10.72%, was reported only for the serviced domestic flights (departures and arrivals) for September 2021, or 1416 compared to 1586 for the same period in 2020.

BULATSA successfully completes 2015_217_AF4 project

The SESAR deployment project 2015_217_AF4 was successfully completed by BULATSA. The initiative implemented a traffic complexity management system in Sofia ACC, fully satisfying the requirements of PCP – Sub-AF 4.2, related to the implementation of automated support for traffic complexity assessment. The project was funded by CEF and coordinated by SESAR Deployment Manager. The new system provides FMP managers and ACC Supervisors with tools for detailed workload assessment, sector configuration optimization and local STAM evaluation. In the following years, BULATSA plans further expansion of the system in order to strengthen the integration with other internal systems and take advantage of the full palette of NM B2B services.

New Edition of Aeronautical chart 1:500 000

Bulgarian Air Traffic Services Authority (BULATSA) notifies aircraft operators and users of the Bulgarian airspace regarding the publication of Aeronautical chart 1:500 000, edition 8.0.

The chart is available free of charge only in electronic form on the corporate website of BULATSA HERE.

BULATSA received a jubilee decoration from the Federation of Science and Technical Unions in Bulgaria

BULATSA received a jubilee decoration from the Federation of Science and Technical Unions in Bulgaria (FSTUB) for active, creative and union activity and the 50-th anniversary of the enterprise. The Director General Georgi Peev was awarded with the “Golden Decoration of FSTUB” for personal contribution and merit in the Federation’s activities, at an official meeting of the aviation community dedicated to the 74-th anniversary of Bulgarian aviation.

The passenger air transport in Bulgaria was launched on June 29 at Vrazhdebna Airport with the opening of the first line Sofia-Plovdiv-Burgas. The event was organized by the Union of Veterans of Bulgarian Civil Aviation, the Bulgarian Airlines Association, FSTUB, the Science and Technical Unions on Transport at the Air Transport Institute and with the support of BULATSA, Sofia Airport SPJSC and DG CAA.