Address at the ceremony marking the twentieth anniversary of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Directorate of Civil Aviation (BHDCA)

by Frank Brenner on 12 September 2017, Banja Luka (BA)

Dear colleagues,

It is a pleasure to be here again, and an honour to mark the twentieth anniversary of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Directorate of Civil Aviation. I would like to offer my congratulations on twenty busy and productive years, which have seen major achievements, thereby overcoming significant constraints that other countries cannot even imagine. While most of these developments were internal to Bosnia Herzegovina, there were in parallel significant developments on the international side.

In 2004, Bosnia and Herzegovina joined EUROCONTROL, becoming our thirty-second member – we now have 41 members, as well as Comprehensive Agreements with Israel and Morocco. As part of that path it also joined with its neighbours to create the FABCE, a functional airspace bock aimed at jointly improving performance.  One good example of this is the introduction of Free Route Airspace above flight level 310 – about ten thousand metres.

BHDCA has been very active in developing the regulatory and safety framework required for modern ATM and it is now working hard with BHANSA to implement the new ATM systems for the upper airspace above our heads. It was an honour for us in EUROCONTROL to assist the State, under the Support to States agreement, in separating the tasks of oversight and the newly born operational entity BHANSA. We are also proud to have been midwife to BHANSA and we all see what a sound company it is that we helped to give birth to. BHANSA and its staff have acquired the necessary competences to conduct safe and efficient Air Traffic Control.

There are over three hundred thousand flights a year in the skies of Bosnia and Herzegovina and that figure is set to increase to close to four hundred thousand over the next seven years. This increase comes from both overflights and also flights to and from Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the numbers of flights and passengers to Sarajevo in particular, rising rapidly. The south east axis is vitally important to the European network and it’s essential that each country provides the capacity required for the region as a whole. 

EUROCONTROL and Bosnia Herzegovina are partners in this with very real success. Here in the room are those that made it happen together. We at EUROCONTROL, provided in the last 20 years support and continue to provide support on a wide range of areas, from the implementation SES rules, to oversight, to ANSP training, to detailed planning for the implementation of the new ATM arrangements for the country, I will not list now all the different areas of our support to the State’s portfolio.

It’s an effective and productive partnership, as demonstrated for example by the fact that 48 airspace design improvement packages were implemented between 2009 and 2017. 

We also see positive developments on aeronautical data, civil-military cooperation, network infrastructure, capacity planning and several other areas. 

There are real challenges ahead but I am confident that they will be met by us working together. So may I offer my congratulations on this significant milestone and wish you all good luck for the future!

As a token of our appreciation of Bosnia Herzegovina, its aviation experts and the Director General Mr Radkovica, I would like to present this flag and plaque.

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