New air traffic control centre in Belgrade (under construction)Serbia’s capital Belgrade will become one of the most important cities for the control of air traffic across the Balkans. Belgrade Centre, which already monitors traffic above parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Croatia has been given even more work. Eurocotnrol, which is the main body for the regulation of air traffic in Europe, has proposed for airlines to avoid Croatian airspace and instead fly over Serbia. This is because there are currently mass delays (greater than 45 minutes) in Croatian skies. CroControl, which keeps the skies safe above Croatia, can only control 4 to 7 sectors out of a total of 17 in the country. This is because of a lack of trained air traffic controllers and mass flyovers. Foreign airlines flying over a country can be a source of great revenue.
Meanwhile, across from Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, the largest air traffic control centre in South Eastern Europe is under construction. The state of the art multi million Euro project has been under construction for just over 100 days with its completion expected in late 2010. The centre will begin work in 2011 making Serbia a regional leader in air traffic control. Eurocontrol plans to close down individual air control centres and keep open only a handful across Europe which would control the skies over entire regions. Belgrade is the front runner for controlling the skies above the Balkans.