Somalia Airspace Reclaim Class A Status

PHOTO: Courtesy

The Somali airspace has gained back Class A classification after 30 years, the International Air Transport Association said.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents approximately 300 airlines, said that the reclassification of Somali airspace will improve regional safety and efficiency.

“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,” Kamil Al-Awadhi, IATA’s Regional Vice President for the Middle East and Africa said.

The reclassification of Somali airspace took effect one-minute past midnight on January 26, 2023.

According to IATA, Class A airspace is the sky above the base altitude of about 24,500 feet above mean sea level.

Air traffic control is required to clear all flights operating in Class A airspace and maintain lateral and vertical separation between aircraft.

Fardowsa Osman Egal, Somalia’s minister of transport and civil aviation, tweeted that her country is pleased and welcomes the reclassification of airspace over Somalia to Class A and the operational restoration of air traffic control services.

Somali airspace, also known as the Mogadishu Flight Information Region (FRI), is one of the busiest in the region, connecting Africa to the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, and Western Europe.

The installation and commissioning of modern radio navigation and other technological infrastructure, according to IATA, has enabled the reclassification of airspace.

Following the collapse of the Somali central government in 1991, the country lost control of its airspace, which was managed by Kenya until 2018.