Malta signs the Blue Med Declaration
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Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Communication, Austin Gatt, on behalf of the Government, today signed the Blue Med Declaration on the creation of a Mediterranean Functional Airspace Block (FAB), expected to optimise air-traffic routes and thus leading to lower emissions and cost savings for airlines. The Blue Med Declaration was signed in Rome, between Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta, with Albania, Egypt and Tunisia signing as participating states, while Jordan signed as an observer.
Under the Single European Sky legislation, EU Member States are legally required to enter into a regional form of integrated management known as a Functional Airspace Block (FAB) – an airspace block based on operational requirements such as safety, capacity and cost, reflecting the need to ensure more integrated management of airspace regardless of existing national boundaries. The first phase of the Blue Med project was a feasibility study that indicated that the better management of airspace through Functional Airspace Blocks will reduce around 1.7 million km thus leading to an annual approximate saving of around € 1.8 million to airlines amongst others.
The full members of the Blue Med group today gave their political commitment to the second part of the project which will be finalised in 2010. The third and final space will see the creation of new Functional Airspace Block streamlining air traffic to the benefit of all users of aircraft.
In his intervention the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Communication signalled Malta’s commitment to go to the next step in this process, especially since the Blue Med project addresses two major concerns in European aviation today, emissions and cost-savings. Minister Gatt praised the Blue Med initiative within the EUs Single European Skies legislation as an example of how action at a European Union level can lead to tangible benefits to airline users.