EX-YU nations implement air control project


The Serbia and Montenegro Air Traffic Services Agency (SMATSA), Croatia Control and the Bosnia and Herzegovina Air Navigation Services Agency (BHANSA), who oversee the airspace of Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are now offering airlines the chance to plan and execute free route flights around the clock. The December 8 launch, which follows on from night-time free route operations since April 2015, will see operations free of fragmentation by state or airspace borders above 32.500 feet. As such, the South-East Axis FRA [Free Route Airspace] (SEAFRA) is the first European FRA concept implemented over the territories of four states, two of which are members of the FAB CE [Functional Air Space Block Central Europe] (Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina), with Serbia and Montenegro which are not a part of any FAB initiative, proving that such cooperation is possible, and can be of benefit to all stakeholders. The idea of such a large-scale FRA was initiated by Air Traffic Management experts of the four providers who shared a common goal of improving safety and efficiency, as well as environmental protection by reducing fuel, CO2 and fuel NOx emissions. It is important to point out that the SEAFRA actions were taken five years prior to the January 1, 2022, deadline when unlimited free use of airspace over 9.000 metres across Europe is planned. This project is one of the key improvements within the EU initiative on establishing the Single European Sky, regardless of the state borders or even FAB borders, aiming to enhance safety and efficiency, and to increase capacity of air traffic in Europe.


  1. As someone who worked in UK AYC for 28 years first as an air traffic controller and later as a planner and policy-maker on various Eurocontrol and ICAO groups. I am really happy to see this development. Stay safe but well done to all concerned


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