Airspace

Flight Information Regions 

The limits and divisions of the Flight Information Regions of Spanish airspace.


Organisation of the airspace: Flight Information Regions

For organisation and management purposes, Spanish airspace is divided into three Flight Information Regions, called the Madrid FIR/UIR, Barcelona FIR/UIR and Canary Islands FIR/UIR. In turn, the airspace delegated to Seville, bounded by the 39th parallel North, is located in the Madrid FIR/UIR. The upper airspace (UIR) of these regions covers the same area as the lower airspace (FIR), except for the Canary Islands, where it is slightly smaller.The vertical separation between the UIR and FIR in Spain is established as flight level FL 245.

Except for certain aerodromes and military areas, air traffic services are provided by the Directorate of ATM Operations, which is the Civil ATS Authority designated for this task by the Spanish Civil Aviation Authority (Dirección General de Aviación Civil, or DGAC). Air Traffic Services (ATS) comprise air traffic control services (ATC), flight information services (FIS) and warning services.

The sphere of responsibility of Spanish air traffic services comprises the Madrid, Barcelona and Canary Islands FIRs/UIRs. In the Spanish FIRs/UIRs air traffic control services, in the areas where they are provided, are limited to the airspace from FL150 to FL460, except for areas (TMA, CTR, AWY, etc.) where, according to AIP-Spain ENR 2, ENR 3 and AD 2, these services are extended to lower levels.

In the Madrid FIR/UIR, flight information, warning and air traffic control services are provided by Madrid ACC. The Seville regional control centre acts as a delegate of Madrid ACC in the provision of flight information, warning and air traffic control services to aircraft flying over the delegated area south of parallel 39º00N.

In the Barcelona FIR/UIR, flight information, warning and air traffic control services are provided by Barcelona ACC.

In the Canary Islands FIR/UIR, flight information and warning services are provided by Canary Islands FIC, except in the controlled airspace where flight information, warning and air traffic control services are provided by Canary islands ACC.

Controlled Traffic Areas

Within each FIR, the airspace where airways converge near one or more airports and where the en route flight stage becomes the approach flight stage, and vice versa, is called the Terminal Control Area (TMA). There are twelve TMAs in Spain.

There are also eight Controlled Traffic Areas (CTA), which cover the approach to most Spanish airports. Finally, Spanish airspace - both lower and upper - is crossed by a large number of air routes followed by aircraft from their point of departure to their final destination, in accordance with the criteria established by the ICAO. These air routes are marked out by navigation aids and route markers, depending on whether they are conventional airways or radio navigation airways (RNAV).

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