|Eurocontrol revokes Bosnian regulator control over the country's airspace|
The Air Navigation Services Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BHANSA) has said Eurocontrol has delayed the handover of its airspace above from air traffic control centres in Belgrade and Zagreb until further notice. The statement came to EX-YU Aviation News following reports the country has been revoked sovereignty over its skies. Bosnia and Herzegovina gained control of its airspace two months ago, which had previously been jointly administered by Serbia and Croatia from air traffic control centres in Belgrade and Zagreb respectively. Bosnia established BHANSA back in 2009, which took responsibility of airspace up to 32.500 feet in November last year. However, Eurocontrol, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, says BHANSA is unable to undertake the “extremely complex work”, following meetings in December.
The Serbia and Montenegro Air Traffic Services Agency (SMATSA) and Croatia Control (45%) will retain control over Bosnia and Herzegovina’s upper, while "the Bosnian air traffic agency, BHANSA, will take over the terminal air traffic control to a certain level of flight operations, landing and takeoffs”, a Eurocontrol report, quoted by “Balkan Insight” says. It adds, “Most of the flight control will remain delegated to SMATSA and the Croatian air traffic control agencies". SMATSA will also collect all revenues from commercial flights over the country in its area of jurisdiction. Until 2007, Bosnian airspace was controlled by international peacekeeping forces that stayed in the country after the end of the 1992-95 war. Since then, Bosnia has had to pay Croatia and Serbia for air traffic navigation. As a result, the two countries collect fifteen million euros each year.
Eurocontrol’s decision will come as a setback to BHANSA. Seventeen air traffic controllers from Bosnia and Herzegovina have been trained in Belgrade in order to take up their positions at control centres in Sarajevo and Banja Luka. More than 23 million euros have been invested in the new air traffic control system in the country, most of which came from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Last year, the Minister for Transport and Communication of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Damir Hadžić, said, “This is a small step for the region, but a big one for Bosnia. We suffered big financial losses by using the services of our neighbours, but from now on the money will stay in our pockets. This is one of the most complex projects implemented in Bosnia”.