Airspace is that portion of the Earth’s atmosphere, on land or water, which is regulated by a particular country. According to the type of operations it hosts, you can talk about different kinds of airspace.

    ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) divides the world into 9 FIR (Flight Information Region) regions. Similarly, each flight information region is “divided” into two regions vertically: a lower space and an upper area.

    The lower region is named FIR (Flight Information Region) and extends from the ground to FL 245. It consists of several perfectly defined areas: control Areas (CTR), Control Areas (CTA), Terminal Control Areas (TMA), Aerodrome Transit Zones (ATZ), Prohibited Areas (P), Restricted (R) and Dangerous (D), Uncontrolled airspace, etc.

    The upper region is called UIR (Upper Information Region) and comprises airspace framed between level FL 245 and infinity. Some structures such as the TMA of the Canary Islands (vertical limit FL460), for example, or some zones P, D or R may also be embedded in the UIR


    Classification and Structure of the Air Space in Spain

    The classification of airspace in Spain is in accordance with Section 6 of Regulation (EU) 923/2012 laying down the air regulation and common operational provisions for air navigation services and procedures (SERA).
    The airspace in which air traffic service is provided is classified as controlled airspace and uncontrolled airspace.
    Controlled airspace comprises control areas, airways and control areas and, depending on the type of flight and air traffic services provided, is classified in Class A, B, C, D and E.
    Uncontrolled airspace comprises the rest of the airspace and, depending on the type of flight and air traffic services provided, it is classified in Class F and G.
    When part of the airspace is situated within another, in part or in full, flights in that airspace shall comply with the requirements for the most restrictive airspace class and shall be provided with the services applicable to that class, except VFR sectors and corridors. In applying these criteria, Class B airspace shall be considered to be less restrictive than Class A, Class C is less restrictive than B, etc.
    The airspace structure in Spain is collected within the AIP-SPAIN, accessible via the following link h ttps://, and is divided into:

    controlled air space, comprising:

    1. Air space of the FIR/UIR of Madrid, Barcelona and the Canary Islands between FL150 and FL460, except dangerous, prohibited and restricted areas.
    2. Airways (awy)
    3. Control Areas (CTA), Control Areas (CTR) and Terminal Control Areas (TMA) defined in civil or military aeronautical information publications.
    4. Airspace structures associated with flexible airspace use management: prior coordination airspace (PCA), reduced coordination airspace (RCA), temporarily reserved airspace (TRA), temporarily segregated airspace (TSA) in controlled airspace, conditional routes (CDR), cross-border areas (CBA), areas promulgated in controlled airspace.

    In controlled airspace air traffic control service is provided to the EAC in accordance with the RCAO rules.

    uncontrolled airspace, comprising the rest of the airspace not covered by subparagraph (a).

    In uncontrolled airspace, anti-collision advisory services shall be provided to the EAC in accordance with RCAO standards, to the extent that the technical means permit.
    In Spain, the Ministry of Defence and Public Works is responsible for the structure and management of airspace and air traffic, in accordance with the provisions of Article 4 of Law 21/2003 of 7 July 2003 on Aviation Safety. The coordination of the actions between the two Departments is carried out through the now called Interministerial Commission between Defense and Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (CIDETMA), formerly CIDEFO.


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