FINEST: a dynamic cross-border Air Traffic Management Programme

Estonian Air Navigation Services (EANS) and Air Navigation Services Finland (ANS Finland), the main air navigation service providers in Estonia and Finland have a long record of excellent cooperation in the field of Air Traffic Management because of their adjacent areas of responsibility and especially the need to coordinately manage the traffic flows to/from biggest airports under their responsibility – Helsinki-Vantaa and Tallinn. After implementation of cross-border Free-Route airspace in our region the opportunity and demand for further cross-border cooperation was there. In 2016 both companies shared interest for more enhanced cross-border cooperation. The objective of FINEST is to achieve optimal performance in the areas of service provision, costefficiency, capacity, flight efficiency, environment, continuity and safety.

The FINEST cross-border service area consists of Helsinki and Tallinn FIRs (EFIN and EETT) between FL095 until FL660. Within this area the ATC sectors are designed according to the traffic flows instead of national borders. The provision of ATC service within these sectors is dynamically transferrable between Tallinn and Helsinki ACCs.

The objective is to be achieved by:

  • organizing cross-border, homogenous, dynamic, cost-efficient, more environmentally friendly and competitive Air Navigation Services by EANS and ANS Finland for the benefit of airspace users;
  • designing the airspace to support most efficiently today’s and future traffic flows;
  • developing and implementing technical environment (e.g. one FDP in the ATM system) supporting the dynamic cross-border services;
  • establishing the common rostering for EANS and ANS Finland ACC personnel;
  • ensuring continuous contingency in service provision;
  • harmonizing and enhancing working methods and procedures within Tallinn FIR and Finland FIR in order to ensure further development of ATC capacity in accordance with EU/SES requirements.

The FINEST program is already in implementation phase and major technical system changes have been procured. The aim is to implement the programme by April 2022. This means that all needed technical solutions and interfaces have to be finalized by that time. As both companies have been using Thales TopSky system for more than a decade, the upgrade to unified solution is the cornerstone for this dynamic service provision. As we aim for the efficiency in all areas of the cooperation, the environmental aspect has been taken seriously into account.

The FINEST objectives and roadmap are and will be built in the context of the EU requirements, the legislative framework of the Single European Sky and SESAR Deployment Program (DP). The objectives of the program are in line with the “Future Airspace Architecture Study” published by the SESAR JU together with Network Manager in April 2019. The industry as well as Network Manager’s support are essential in order to comply with the implementation plans.

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