ATC in Africa is slowly improving – investment in radar and CPDLC is helping – but vast swathes of airspace remain where ATC, quite simply, is not to be trusted to the same degree as in other parts of the world. Not all of this is the fault of the controller – more so equipment – but crews should be fully aware of the need to be more situationally aware.

The airspace map below shows the current airspace that IATA deems “At Risk”, and recommends applying the Inflight Broadcast Procedure (IFBP).

Specifically, these  FIR’s:

• Asmara
• Brazzaville
• Kano
• Khartoum
• Kinshasa
• Luanda
• Lusaka
• Mogadishu
• Niamey
• N’Djamena
• Tripoli
• Dakar (Dakar Terrestrial and Dakar Oceanic FIR’s apply IFBP only in the case of the activation of their contingency plans)

IATA adds a note that Brazzaville, Niamey and N’djamena FIR’s provide CPDLC service, however these FIR’s are maintained in IFBP area of applicability “to accommodate users’ requirement for linear boundaries to the extent feasible”. If you were to read between the lines, you might conclude that CPDLC doesn’t remove the risk entirely.

This is the latest version of the procedure.

Mark Zee

Mark Zee

OpsGroup Founder. mark at ops.group

One Comment

  • Greg Frandsen says:

    Question. I’m a Delta B-777 Captain and routinely fly our Atlanta-Johannesburg route, Delta’s longest flight. Our normal routing takes us thru the New York, Dakar, Accura, Luanda and Johannesburg Oceanic FIR’s. For the past year or more Luanda has added CPDLC services which extends our coverage from coast-out to coast-in. My question is, should the Luanda Oceanic portion of the FIR be removed from the IFBP required area on IATA SO&I AFI chart that is depicted on your home page above? We still make them in accordance with the chart but we seldom hear a word on 126.9. I feel IFBP in Luanda Domestic makes sense, Luanda International is unnecessary.

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