Many data management and system-wide information-sharing roles could also be centralized at a European level, Brenner notes. He says ANSPs, manufacturers or joint ventures could bid to be the providers of these centralized services.
The IAA's Brennan believes a much more radical pan-European solution is necessary.
Ideally, European Union agencies should claim authority over the continent's airspace and redesign it from scratch, says Brennan. “Europeanizing” the airspace in this manner is the only way to achieve real reform, he notes. Air traffic control services for the resulting airspace regions should then be put out to tender.
Existing Single Sky efforts—including technology upgrades—avoid the real problem of fragmentation, says Brennan. “Sort out the airspace first, and everything else will follow.”
Brennan says the FAB process was always unlikely to work as intended, since the legislation left it up to the states to negotiate FABs in a so-called bottom-up approach. The ANSPs of each state have a vested interest in retaining their authority and not consolidating services, he says.
For the FABs to produce the required savings, there needs to be fewer ANSPs, control centers and employees, says Brennan. And asking ANSPs to volunteer to make these cuts is “like turkeys voting for Christmas.”