Somalia air traffic control restored

The civil war in Somalia in 1991 led to the collapse of the state-owned airline Somali Airlines and the country’s air connectivity has been severely impacted ever since.

For decades, other nations have warned airlines about the dangers of flying in Somali airspace below 26,000 feet, with Turkish Airlines being the only major international carrier currently serving the country. However, recent upgrades to infrastructure and the reinstallment of air traffic control have led to the re-classification of the Mogadishu airspace to Class A.

This change came into effect on January 26, 2023, and is a result of the installation and commissioning of modern radio navigation and other technological infrastructure, following a pilot project conducted in May 2022.

The Mogadishu Flight Information Region (FIR) is now considered Class A airspace, which is the sky above the base altitude of approximately 24,500 feet above sea level. This means that all flights operating in this airspace must be cleared by air traffic control and maintain lateral and vertical separation between aircraft.

The Mogadishu FIR is home to some of the busiest airways in the region, connecting the Indian subcontinent to Western Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, as well as the African subcontinent. The reinstating of air traffic control in the region is a significant step towards improving air connectivity and stability in Somalia.

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