Air Navigation


The Air Navigation Division provides air navigation services within the Reykjavik control area and at Icelandic airports. It is common to divide air navigation services (ANS) into the following basic services:

  • Communications services
  • Navigation services
  • Surveillance services
  • Air traffic services (ATS)
  • Meteorological service (MET)
  • Aeronautical information service (AIS)

The Reykjavik control area is among the largest in the world at approximately 5,4 million square kilometres. The control area extends from 61°  North to the North Pole and from 0°E/W to the west of Greenland. Air navigation services over Greenland are provided according to a special agreement between the governments of Iceland and Denmark. Each year approximately 100,000 airplanes fly over 140 million km in the Reykjavik control area.

Air traffic services at airports can be divided into two categories: Air traffic control (ATC) service (aerodrome and approach control) and flight information service (FIS). ATC service is provided at Keflavik, Reykjavik and Akureyri airports but at other scheduled flight airports only FIS service is provided.

Approximately 235 people work within the Air Navigation Division. The staff is composed of around 125 air traffic controllers, 20 flight data specialists, 40 flight information officers, 35 technicians and about 15 people who tend to safety and quality issues, teaching and training, research and development as well as management.

By far the largest part of the cost of air navigation services is paid through user charges, both en route fees and landing charges collected by the airports. The Joint Financing Agreement is an international agreement between nations whose civil aircraft fly across the North Atlantic. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) supervises the execution of the agreement and arranges, in cooperation with Isavia, annual meetings with user representatives where the provision of the services and cost development are reviewed.

In the North Atlantic, providers of air navigation services formally confer with each other under the North Atlantic Systems Planning Group, NAT/SPG, which is one of the committees of the ICAO. In this forum, decisions are made on how the service provision shall be arranged and safety and quality goals are monitored as well as development of new technology and methodology in the provision of air navigation services. Organisations of air operators and professional associations also actively participate in this work.



Number of flights through the Reykjavik Control Area

165.640 13,5% increase compared to 2015


Passenger traffic through Keflavik Airport

6.821.358 40,4% increase compared to 2015

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