Air Force Transfers Final Sector Of Northern Iraq's Airspace To
Iraq Civil Aviation Authority
The U.S. Air Force transferred the final sector of northern
Iraq's airspace to the Iraq Civil Aviation Authority on Aug. 25.
With the assumption of this sector, the ICAA received control of
airspace in Kirkuk from ground level to 15,000 feet.
"This transfer is significant because it is the most complex
airspace sector the ICAA has taken to date," said Maj. Adam
Fiedler, an airspace planner with the U.S. Forces-Iraq Air
Component Coordination Element-Iraq. "This one sector will control
aircraft on departure and landing to five airfields."
The ICAA will now provide approach control service into three
civil airports -- Mosul, Erbil, and Sulaymaniyah -- and into two
military airfields: Kirkuk Regional Air Base and Contingency
Operating Base Speicher. "This milestone means Iraq is one step
closer to assuming full control of its national airspace system and
achieving true airspace sovereignty," Fiedler explained.
The last sector of Iraq's airspace, the area above Baghdad, will
be transferred in October and will culminate several years of hard
work by U.S. military, U.S. State Department and ICAA personnel,
officials said. "We basically had to rebuild the ICAA from the
ground up," Fiedler said. "The job would have been challenging
enough in a normal airspace environment, but in one where there are
still combat and tactical air operations going on, it's made it
even more challenging."