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The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has entrusted air traffic services in the North Atlantic (NAT) Region to seven states: the UK, Iceland, Canada, Norway, the United States, Denmark and Portugal. Isavia is licensed by the Icelandic Civil Aviation Administration to provide air navigation and air traffic services in the NAT Region on behalf of Iceland, and in the Reykjavik Control Area (CTA).

Also known by the ICAO identifier “BIRD CTA”, the Reykjavik CTA covers an area extending from a latitude of 61°N to the North Pole and from a longitude of 76°W to the Greenwich meridian. Its lower vertical limit varies from ground level to 20,000 feet above sea level. It has no upper vertical limit. The adjacent control areas are the Scottish-controlled Shanwick (EGGX) and Prestwick (EGPX), the Canadian-controlled Gander (CZQX) and Edmonton (CZEG), the Russian-controlled Murmansk (ULMM) and the Norwegian-controlled Bodö (ENOB) and Norway (ENOR).

The Reykjavik CTA’s main airports are at Keflavík, Akureyri, Vågar in the Faroe Islands and Söndreström and Thule in Greenland.

Over a quarter of all air traffic crossing the North Atlantic passes through the Isavia-managed Reykjavik CTA. It is somewhat unique among oceanic control areas in its flexibility with regard to flight routing and altitudes.

The Reykjavik CTA’s air traffic control uses data from seven radar stations located at Keflavik Airport (KF-M), Miðnesheiði (H-1), Mt Gunnólfsvíkurfjall (H-2), Hornafjörður (H-3), Mt Bolafjall (H-4), Sumburgh in the Shetland Islands (SUM) and Mt Sornfelli in the Faroe Islands (FAE). The radar coverage thus provided includes all of Iceland and extends east of the Faroe Islands. The radar network facilitates air traffic control in the area and enables a better and more flexible service.

To spread the air traffic control load, the Reykjavik CTA is divided into four sectors named North, West, South and East. The South and East sectors use radar coverage to control air traffic while the North and West sectors use procedural control.


Approach services for Reykjavik Airport and Keflavik Airport are provided by the Reykjavik Area Control Centre (“Reykjavik ACC”). The terminal manoeuvring area (TMA) reaches up to 24,500 feet, like the domestic area, and has a horizontal radius of approximately 40 nautical miles from Keflavik Airport.