by NEFAB Council
The NEFAB Council is the supreme governance body in NEFAB, in which the transport ministries and defence ministries participate. The Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications chairs the Council in the first year of the NEFAB cooperation.
Following the inaugural meeting of the NEFAB Council on 6 February 2013, the 2nd meeting of the NEFAB Council took place in Oslo on 21 May 2013. The meeting was attended by representatives of Ministries of transport from the four participating States: Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Norway, as well as Ministries of defence from Finland and Norway. Chairs of NEFAB Committees and chairs of the governing bodies of the service providers also attended the meeting.
At the end of the meeting, the Chairman of the NEFAB Council, Ottar Ostnes, Director General of the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications made the following assessment of the meeting: ”It is a pleasure for me to report that the second meeting of the NEFAB Council was indeed a confirmation of our commitment to making our cooperation within NEFAB a success. This bodes well for the further developments and milestones that lie ahead of us, during this year and beyond.”
The NEFAB Council tentatively approved the joint response from the participating States to the so-called ‘EU Pilot’ regarding the formal assessment of NEFAB by the European Commission, subject to national approvals. Furthermore, it continued deliberations over its work plan for 2013 as well as the strategic plan for NEFAB. The Council also devoted some time to discussing and assessing status reports from the NEFAB Committees, as well as status reports regarding the development of the enhanced cooperation and performance between the service providers. The realisation of the Free Route Airspace concept in the whole Nordic-Baltic region by end of 2015 is the most significant achievement of the current plans. This calls for close cooperation with neighbouring States. The NEFAB Council made it clear that it is well aware of this fact, and will take the necessary steps to make it happen. The NSA Committee was invited to study the possibility of using English as the only language in parts of NEFAB airspace. This can facilitate cross-border services to a larger extent than today.
The next meeting of the Council is scheduled for 19 September. The inaugural meeting of the Air Navigation Services Consultative Boards is scheduled to take place back-to-back with this Council meeting.