The region covers the Canary Island archipelago, part of the western Sahara and the ocean area around it.
Description of the Regional Directorate
The Canary Islands Air Navigation Regional Directorate manages the air traffic services in a geographic area of approximately one and a half million square kilometres. Most of this covers ocean, including the Canary Island archipelago and part of the Western Sahara.
The Canary Island region includes a terminal control area (TCA) and eight airports: Tenerife Norte, Tenerife Sur, Gran Canaria, La Gomera, El Hierro, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and La Palma.
The main characteristic of the region is that it is the gateway, in terms of air traffic, to South America over the Atlantic: the EUR-SAM air corridor. Due to its location, it is an obligatory fly-through area for all traffic between Europe and South America, and some of the traffic to the Caribbean and Central America, so that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has established the South Atlantic Monitoring Agency -SATMA- at the Canarias ACC. This traffic involves around eleven percent of the total transit controlled by the Canary Island region.
However, the greatest flow of traffic in the Canary Islands - sixty percent of the total - comes from the inflows to the islands from Europe and from the outflows from the islands to the old continent. Lastly, inter-island traffic occupies thirty percent and covers the different routes established in the terminal control area (TCA) linking all of the aerodromes in the Archipelago.
This region provides ATS, CNS and AIS services at Tenerife Norte, Tenerife Sur, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura Airports. It also provides CNS and AIS services in the airports of La Gomera, El Hierro, Lanzarote and La Palma.
Canary Islands Control Centre
The Canary Island Control Centre (ACC), located next to Gran Canaria airport, manages all of the FIR Canarias traffic, except for that delegated to the approach facility (APP) – Tenerife Norte and Tenerife Sur – and that of the control towers.
This ACC is home to the Flow Management Positioning unit, which, in constant contact with the data processing facility and Central Flow Management Unit (CFMU) in Brussels, is responsible for coordinating the flow of arrival and departure traffic to and from the Canary Islands. Thus, the capacity of the different sectors is not saturated and assistance is given in maintaining the safe and orderly flow of air traffic.
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