Formidable Shield 2023: NAT Airspace Closures

By David Mumford


Remember that big NAT military exercise a couple of years ago? Formidable Shield is happening again this year, from May 9-27, which will mean parts of North Atlantic airspace will be closed to all flights for several hours at a time.

Back in 2021, the airspace closures were pretty big, stretching halfway across the EGGX/Shanwick FIR. Things aren’t so bad this year though – it looks like the closures will just be limited to an area off the west coast of Scotland.

Deep in the bowels of the Eurocontrol website they have published this doc which tells you all about the different closures in the various little chunks of airspace.

So for planning NAT flights, watch out for the whole area from ORTAV in the north to APSOV in the south. And for any questions on Formidable Shield, you can contact the UK Airspace Management Cell at


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