Single European Skies: Functional Airspace Blocks – Delays and Responses

Fox, S. 2016. Single European Skies: Functional Airspace Blocks – Delays and Responses. Air and Space Law. 41 (3), p. 201–227.


This article considers the ‘Functional Airspace Blocks’ (FABs) – which are part of the European initiative for a Single European Sky (SES). The primary objective of the transport policy has been to complete the internal market for transport and facilitate the free movement of persons, good and services. Yet the significance of the transport policy to the wider objectives of the EU is often overlooked. Whilst deregulation of the air transport sector in the EU has created the world’s largest and most successful example of regional market integration and liberalization in air transport – the industry remains hampered by disjointed skies, which standard to compromise safety and impact upon economic development. And, whilst the FAB should have been completed – ‘by’ December 2012 – it is still not a reality. The research identifies the aims and advantages of a common European airspace and reviews the delays and consequences of implementation, specifically commenting on the use of the infringement process (or non-use) against Member States regarding the implementation of the FABs.