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Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2001 9:22 pm

Who Controls Airspace?

Mon May 26, 2003 5:09 pm

Forgive me if this has been asked before, but who controls International Airspace?

I know that say when you fly from the UK to the US, you fly over the atlantic, which is classed as international airspace, so who guides the aircraft when it is in this area? Same goes for places like the pacific and Arctic circle. How do airlines pay to use this airspace? and it is it cheaper for an airline to use as much international airspace as possible?

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RE: Who Controls Airspace?

Mon May 26, 2003 5:13 pm

Jurisdictional control over oceanic airspace is generally assigned to the air traffic services providers on either side.

For transatlantic flights the North Atlantic is split between the UK and Canada, with the boundary at 30 degrees west longitude. UK National Air Traffic Services oversees the eastern half (the Shanwick oceanic FIR) while Nav Canada oversees the western half (the Gander oceanic FIR).
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RE: Who Controls Airspace?

Mon May 26, 2003 8:12 pm

Shanwick Oceanic is actually monitored by both UK and Irish controllers. Radiotransmissions are send to atlantic traffic from Ballygireen, a small village near Shannon, while the actual ATC centre is located in Prestwick, Scotland
The Shanwick Transition Area is entirely radarcontrolled from Shannon if I'm not mistaken.
You'll find lots of interesting bits on this very informative site http://www.irishaviation.net/shanwick.htm
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RE: Who Controls Airspace?

Tue May 27, 2003 12:57 am

I was trying to keep it simple - but Swake is correct. The name "Shanwick" is a derivation of "Shannon-Prestwick" because the HF communications are relayed via Ballygireen/Shannon and Irish Aviation Authority controllers, of course, play a significant role in the control of NAT traffic.
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RE: Who Controls Airspace?

Tue May 27, 2003 1:09 am

I'm not aware of any fee to use international airspace. There isn't any fee to use U.S. airspace.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
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RE: Who Controls Airspace?

Tue May 27, 2003 2:11 am

I'm not aware of any fee to use international airspace.

You have to be careful using the words "international airspace". There are international waters, but that doesn't extend to the air because someone has to be in charge when it comes to separating aircraft.

And I can assure you that the UK charges airlines to operate through eastern Atlantic oceanic airspace (technically, for the air traffic service NATS provides), although I believe it still does this on a "per flight" basis so the fee is not based on a MTOW-distance calculation. The cost is in the region of £50 per flight.

NATS also collects charges on behalf of other sovereign territories overflown by transatlantic services, although I think the Irish Aviation Authority charges separately for the HF communications it provides through Shanwick FIR.

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