Never before have governments been under such pressure to deliver such a high level of infrastructure at such low cost while at the same time reducing CO2 emissions. When it comes to aviation, rationalising flight patterns for greater efficiency is an obvious place to start. However, sensitivity about air sovereignty means the process of working toward a united European airspace is a highly delicate one.
In 2000 the European Union launched the Single European Sky initiative. Its aim was to rationalise airspace management in order to reduce air-space congestion and minimise CO2 emissions. In 2009 Ramboll was commissioned to produce a socio-economic analysis of a proposed functional airspace block (FAB) uniting Denmark and Sweden. Our contribution influenced the subsequent political agreement to merge air traffic control organisations in the two countries — due to be fully implemented by 2012. This represents an important Scandinavian contribution to the Single European Sky initiative.
In 2010 we carried out a further study to analyse the socio-economic impacts of expanding the FAB to include Norway, Finland, Estonia and Latvia. This project (known as NEFAB) would see the entire Nordic and Baltic region united under a single sky, reducing aviation-related CO2 emissions across the region.