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Thu, Sep 01, 2011

Iraqi Airspace Soon To Be Fully Under Iraqi Control

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."

FMI: www.af.mil

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