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:
• 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.