On February 25th, 2021 AIC 002/21 was published. This AIC announced that a Review of Irish Airspace is being conducted. This review will focus particularly on areas of the Shannon Flight Information Region (FIR) where services are provided by Shannon Air Traffic Services.
Pre COVID19, the Irish Aviation Authority, Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) saw year on year increases in traffic transiting through the Lower Airspace Sector of the Shannon CTA. While there have been some airspace changes (stubs around Ireland West), at this stage we feel it is timely to carry out a root and branch review of the airspace with you the stakeholders.
The reasons for this are as follows:
- We are keen to look for possible environmental improvements in the area of Continuous Descent and Continuous Climb operations.
- We want to look at the airspace for changes to better match todays and future operations.
- We are looking to put a plan in place to meet the ICAO's Global Air Navigation Plan (GANP) 2013-2028 which sets out the introduction of Performance Based Navigation (PBN) as its highest priority and EU PBN Implementing Rule (2018/1048).
This page, through the format of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) is intended to give more information on this initiative.
What is the objective? Our objective here is to review the airspace with a view to creating a project plan for improvements. We want to future proof the airspace, so we want to hear from you the stakeholders. We are looking to find out from an airspace point of view:
- What works well for you today?
- What doesn’t work for you today?
- Based on what you know, what are your airspace needs for the future?
What is the AIC saying? The AIC is advising people that we do intend to make changes in the Shannon FIR, to facilitate improved instrument flight procedures both now and in the future? This may require us making changes to the bases of controlled airspace in a tailored fashion that meets all user’s needs, in order to:
- Maximise safety
- Improve environmental flight efficiency for airline customers
- Ensure that the ANSP will comply with the ICAO's Global Air Navigation Plan (GANP) 2013-2028 and the EU PBN Implementing Rule 2018/1048 (18th July 2018)
Why haven’t you put a design in for comment? We have not put a specific airspace design into the AIC as it may point people in a certain direction which may not be the best or intended outcome. Instead we invite you, the airspace user, to tell us what your requirements are now and into the future. We will review these comments in the context of any changes.
What type of comments are you looking for? Nobody knows your operation better than you. So, we want to know what your needs are now and into the future. While it may be difficult to satisfy everyone, we want to take all comments into account when finalizing the designs/procedures.
Will all the changes be introduced at once? No is the answer here. When comments are reviewed it is intended to generate a project plan to deliver the changes on a phased basis considering all customer and stakeholder viewpoints.
If I have any questions or queries who do I contact? We intend holding two (2) virtual briefings/ Q&A sessions on the AIC in the month of March. The dates and links to join are below and will also be on the IAA Twitter account @iaapress. These briefings will allow stakeholders to ask questions and discuss issues.
The briefings are an opportunity to discuss the possible changes and to learn about the operation of you, the stakeholder. However, only comments received to email@example.com by the closing date (23rd April 2021) as per the AIC will be formally considered.
What will be the format of these briefings? The briefings will give a general overview of what we are looking at doing and why we are looking at doing it. The briefings will then allow for questions/discussions..
How do I submit comments? Comments can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org Closing date for comments is April 23rd 2021.
The lower airspace, particularly the Shannon CTA, has not undergone a major structural airspace review for a number of years. We are looking at how best to shape controlled airspace now and into the future so as to ensure that the airspace always meets customer and stakeholder requirements.