The Fourth Meeting of the BLUE MED FAB Governing Board was held in Malta on the 7 November 2013. Following the welcoming address by the Malta GB member Mr Joseph Callus, the GB Chairman Mr Benedetto Marasa launched the meeting by obtaining the approval of the agenda with minor amendments. The agenda covered institutional matters, in particular the status of the SLA ratification process and the Commission communication concerning the establishment of the BLUE MED FAB, feedback from non- EU States invited to participate in BLUE MED activities inter FAB coordination, the FAB Performance Framework and reports from BLUE MED FAB Committees.
A review of the state of the SLA ratification process showed that at the time of the meeting three States had yet to ratify the SLA and who stated that they would do so by the year’s end. The completion of the ratification process will also permit the signing of the ANSPs and NSAs Memoranda of Cooperation. In the meantime the Governing Board members agreed to ensure that the ANSP Committee and NSA Committee would be able to be convened by the end of 2013 in order to agree on their TORs and workplans.
The Administrative Secretariat provided the Governing Board with the presentation that was to be given to the Commission official for FABs the day following the GB meeting and the GB members agreed with the presentation without any amendment.
The Governing Board members were then presented with a draft Implementation Programme document which was in the final stages of completion and they agreed that the document could be also presented to the Commission official for FABs in their meeting with him the next day. The Administrative Secretariat however stated that the document would still be subject to further amendment and refinement by Member States for another week after which the document would be considered ready for transmission to the Commission by the 29 November 2013 as agreed.
The Governing Board took note of the developments concerning inter FAB coordination. The three FABs adjoin the BLUE MED FAB, namely, FABEC, FABCE and DANUBE showed interest in inter FAB coordination activities and further developments are expected in the very near future to enter into appropriate agreements.
The Governing Board was informed by the Chairman that during summer the civil aviation authorities of Albania, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, and Tunisia had been sent invitations to participate in BLUE MED activities as had been agreed by the Governing Board earlier in the year. These States are all, except for Jordan, adjoining the BLUE MED FAB and their future active participation is looked upon favourably both by BLUE MED States because it would ensure better efficiency and higher safety standards in cross border operations, and by the Commission because it implies the adoption to some or all of the Aviation Acquis. The GB members were also informed that so far interest has been shown by Libya and Israel the latter having also indicated its readiness to conclude an agreement to participate as an observer to familliarise itself with BLUE MED FAB activities.
The Governing Board was also informed that since its previous meeting that a Performance Task Force had been established and that it has drafted its workplan. It was confirmed that the objective of this Task Force, working under the supervision of the NSA Committee, is that of preparing a BLUE MED FAB Performance Plan which will be endorsed by the Governing Board on behalf of all Member States before it is submitted to the Commission by June 2013 as required by SES legislation.
At the conclusion of the meeting all participants expressed their appreciation and satisfaction for the excellent organisation of the meeting and the hospitality of the Maltese hosts.