A close-out meeting was held in Banja Luka on Thursday, May 23rd, on the occasion of the finalised implementation of the Agreement for the Support and Assistance in the Implementation of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Air Traffic Management (BHATM) Project signed in October 2006 between the BHDCA and EUROCONTROL.

The BHDCA Management, comprising Director General Mr. Djordje Ratkovica and Deputies Director General Mr. Marinko Simunovic and Mr. Djelal Hasecic, took this opportunity to present the current status of the Project to Head of the DNM/DPS Unit Mr. Dimitrios Apsouris and to the BHATM Project Manager Mr. Vladimir Jevtic.

“The BHATM Project comprised four major segments, namely the establishment of the ATM system, Institutional Transformation, Development of Human Resources, and Civil Works, in which EUROCONTROL had a strategic role, but free of charge for the BHDCA” said Mr. Ratkovica.

The objective of the Agreement was support for the BHDCA by EUROCONTROL in order to facilitate a safe and smooth transition to an autonomous operation of the BHATM System. In this respect, EUROCONTROL provided the relevant support and expertise by providing access to the best international practices and advice on certain operational and technical issues, as well as in the management of the BIH Airspace, development of instrument flight procedures and many other operational documents. In addition, EUROCONTROL’s support also included consultation services with regards to procuring new equipment and a data processing system, as well as taking part in considerations on the modernisation and improvement of the existing infrastructural facilities and installations.

EUROCONTROL was involved in the technical and operational aspects of the Project. During the course of the Agreement, around thirty members of EUROCONTROL staff were involved in various activities within the implementation of the BHATM Project.

BHDCA’s Director General Mr. Djordje Ratkovica noted that work on all the facilities required for equipment installation was fully completed, and that all BHATM System components were installed at their respective sites, and were linked and checked with ACC Units in Sarajevo and Banja Luka.

“The Operational Network was also checked and is functional, communication links were established with the neighbouring area control centres in Serbia and Croatia, and technical functionality checks were performed on the BHATM System components. Having completed the required tests and checks, it was confirmed that the BHATM System is established and acceptable in accordance with all the defined, required and supplied functions, which consequently led to issuance of an Operational Acceptance Certificate (OAC) on 29 June 2012 which verified the operational acceptance of the entire BHATM System” Mr. Ratkovica said, and added that operational staff had been trained and are available – of which 17 air traffic controllers already hold their licenses, while 18 controllers are undergoing training to be completed in August – and that technical staff had also received their training, thus fulfiling all the requirements for the BHDCA to transfer the ownership right and the right of use of the BHATM System onto the Bosnia and Herzegovina Air Navigation Services Agency (BHANSA).

The representatives of EUROCONTROL expressed their pleasure with the implementation of the Agreement and announced the signing of another Support and Assistance Agreement with the BHDCA in the near future.