‘Class A’ Air Traffic Control Services restored over Somalia
The re-establishment comes after a 30-year disruption, thanks to modern technological infrastructure
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has welcomed the reclassification of airspace over Somalia and the surrounding region to Class A.
It took place at one minute past midnight on 26 January, with air traffic control services operationally restored following a 30-year disruption.
Some of the region’s busiest airways traverse the Somalian airspace, officially known as the Mogadishu Flight Information Region (FIR), which covers the landmass surrounding the Horn of Africa and extends into the Indian Ocean. It includes links between 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.
IATA Regional Vice President for the Middle East and Africa, Kamil Al-Awadhi, said: “The reclassification of the Mogadishu FIR as ‘Class A’ airspace will significantly improve safety in the region and enhance efficiency.
“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 airlines.”
The airspace reclassification and operational resumption of air traffic control in the Mogadishu FIR was possible because of the installation and commissioning of modern radio navigation and other technological infrastructure.
“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.
Air traffic recovery is still ongoing post-pandemic, according to latest IATA figures.