The ATM Operations & Strategy Directorate, on behalf of the IAA provides air traffic management services in airspace controlled by Ireland.
The airspace comprises 451,000 km2 and acts as a gateway between Europe and North America. Air traffic management services include air traffic control (ATC), flight information, alerting and search & rescue services. In all, there are over 300 air traffic controllers employed by the IAA working in Dublin, Shannon and Cork.
The objective of an air traffic controller is to provide a safe, orderly and expeditious flow of air traffic. This is achieved using various tools such as radio and radar, onboard aircraft systems and obviously the controllers themselves. The standard separation between aircraft is 1,000 feet in the vertical plane or 5 nautical miles in the lateral plane, although there are some exceptions to this.
The IAA operates one of the most advanced air traffic management systems in Europe. In May 2011, the IAA successfully implemented its new COOPANS system which equips air traffic controllers with improved functionalities whilst maintaining maximum levels of safety and increasing capacity to improve customers' demands.
In 2013, Irish air traffic controllers safely safely handled approximately half a million flights through Irish airspace.
See the IAA's Guide to Air Traffic Management Operations for more information.