The International Air Transport Association (IATA) welcomes the reclassification of the airspace over Somalia and the surrounding region to Class A. This will take place one minute after midnight on January 26, 2023, when traffic control services airlines will be restored operationally after a 30-year interruption.
Linking the African subcontinent south of Ethiopia with the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, as well as western Europe with the Indian subcontinent and Indian Ocean islands, some of the region's busiest air routes pass through Somali airspace, which is officially known as the Mogadishu Flight Information Region (FIR). It covers the land mass that surrounds the Horn of Africa and extends to the Indian Ocean.
“The reclassification of the Mogadishu FIR as 'Class A' airspace will significantly improve safety in the region and improve efficiency. This is thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Somali Airspace Coordination Task Force, which comprises the Somali CAA, IATA, International Civil Aviation Organization, adjacent FIRs and airlines,” said Kamil Al-Awadhi, Vice President IATA regional service for the Middle East and Africa. .
The reclassification of airspace and the operational resumption of air traffic control in the Mogadishu FIR has been possible thanks to the installation and commissioning of modern radionavigation infrastructure and other technology. It follows a successful trial that began last May.
"Updating air traffic management and improving navigation and communication infrastructure will improve situational awareness along an increasingly busy air corridor and its intersections with routes linking many of the world's regions," he 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. In the Mogadishu FIR, Class A airspace is the sky above the base altitude of approximately 24,500 feet above mean sea level.