IATA has welcomed the reclassification of
airspace over Somalia and the surrounding region to Class A.
Air traffic control services were operationally
restored at at one minute past midnight on 26 January 2023, after
a 30-year disruption.
Some of the region’s busiest airways – linking the
African subcontinent south of Ethiopia with the Middle East and
Indian subcontinent as well as Western Europe with the Indian
subcontinent and Indian Ocean islands – traverse Somalian
airspace, which is officially known as the Mogadishu Flight
Information Region (FIR). It covers the landmass surrounding the
Horn of Africa and extends into the Indian Ocean.
Aircraft flying overhead. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com
“The reclassification of the Mogadishu FIR as
‘Class A’ airspace will significantly improve safety in the region
and enhance efficiency,” said IATA’s Regional Vice President for
the Middle East and Africa, Kamil Al-Awadhi. “This is thanks to
the collaborative efforts of the Somalia Airspace Special
Coordination Team, comprising the Somali CAA, IATA, the
International Civil Aviation Organization, adjacent FIRs and
The reclassification of the airspace, and the
operational resumption of air traffic control in the Mogadishu FIR
has been made possible with the installation and commissioning of
modern radio navigation and other technological infrastructure. It
follows a successful trial which began last May.
“The upgrade of air traffic management and
improved navigation and communication infrastructure will enhance
situational awareness along an increasingly busy air corridor and
its intersections with routes linking many of the world’s
regions,” added Al-Awadhi.
All flights operating in Class A airspace must be
cleared by air traffic control which is also responsible for
maintaining lateral and vertical separation between aircraft.
the Mogadishu FIR, Class A airspace is the sky above the base
altitude of approximately 24,500 feet above mean sea level.
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