The BLUE MED project is a FAB initiative aiming at the establishment and at the development of a Functional Airspace Block over the Mediterranean area in compliance with the SESII EU regulatory framework. The BLUE MED initiative in its Definition phase (2009-2012) was carried out by four EU Member States (Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta) and three non-EU countries participating as Associated Members (Albania, Egypt, Tunisia) with the participation of two non-EU observers (Lebanon and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan).
The BLUE MED FAB Feasibility study was initiated in 2006 and completed in 2008 when the BLUE MED Members signed in November 2008 the Ministerial Declaration reaffirming their commitment into the project. The Definition Phase (2009-2012) arises from the political engagement of the Partner States in pooling their airspace of responsibility (or part of it) to build the BLUE MED FAB over the study area.
This Definition Phase has identified necessary actions, implementation and verification processes to be performed. In particular it has addressed the detailed design and evaluation of the new airspace structure, the definition of the interoperability mechanisms, the identification of solutions for the legal-institutional and social issues identified in the previous phase and the execution of a full safety assessment.
A detailed cost-benefit analysis has been conducted, to identify the advantages introduced by the FAB, assessed in 6 KPA (Key Performance Areas) and measured through appropriate KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), in order to check the consistency with the BLUE MED Performance Targets. The related implementation costs have also been clearly identified.
As a final step, a Go/No-Go decision based on the results of the Definition have been taken by all concerned States, in order to acknowledge the existence of all the prerequisites for the beginning of the Implementation. The BLUE MED FAB have been established by the BLUE MED FAB EU Member States Ministers of Transport with the signature of the BLUE MED FAB State Level Agreement on the 12th of October 2012
The Implementation Phase will be the final step of the FAB establishment through the implementation of the identified operational solutions and the development and deployment of identified technical enablers (in strict cooperation with SESAR and the ATM industry) to reach the FAB full operation of all its functions in 2015 on the basis of the implementation plan prepared during the BLUE MED Definition Phase, translated into the current BLUE MED FAB Implementation Programme.
The BLUE MED FAB project is open to the participation of any other interested state for which operational benefits exists; also, close integration with other neighboring FAB initiatives has been actively pursued and will be fostered in the Implementation Phase of the project. In this respect, it is important to note that both the BLUE MED Feasibility Study and Definition Phase focused not only on the strict ACC borders of the participating states, but targeted capturing the operational requirements on a regional basis, under the assumption that FABs shall be independent from national borders and adapt to the operational needs.