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August 1st, 2006
Flying Down to Kabul
Map: Airspace Politics: Austria

Source: CIA World Factbook 2006

Airspace: 31,738 square miles

Recent Airspace Conflicts

Austria barred both land transit and the use of its airspace to U.S. troops seeking to move from Germany to Italy for entry into Iraq. This move effectively lessened the role of Italy, which had offered access as a contribution to the military campaign. Austria’s decision, together with Greece’s opposition to the war, also effectively hindered NATO candidate countries Croatia and Slovenia, as well as Macedonia and Albania, from facilitating the transit of U.S. forces based in Germany to Iraq.

Airspace Regulatory Body

Austro Control: A subsidiary of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology, Austro Control controls air traffic and airspace in Austria. Austro Control has been responsible for air traffic control and air safety in Austrian airspace since January 1994. There are as many as 3,000 controlled flights a day over Austrian airspace, often at altitudes of 30,000 feet or more.

Membership in International Aviation Organizations

Central European Air Traffic Services project (CEATS): The objective of this project is to set up a control center to provide services in the upper airspace of its member states — Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Italy. The project has been in effect since 1997, but is currently in danger of being dissolved due to concerns regarding misuse of funding.

EUROCONTROL: An international governmental organization with 31 member states. Among its many services, this organization seeks to fulfill the needs of civil and military aircraft through the Flexible Use of Airspace mandate. This approach attempts to avoid airspace restrictions due to military operations by limiting the duration of restrictions to coincide with the duration of military operations, thus not blocking large areas of airspace for lengthy periods of time. Furthermore, it aims to break down national airspace barriers and develop a single upper airspace for use by partner countries through the Single European Sky mandate.

Sources: Austro Control, THE GUARDIAN UNLIMITED, Federal Aviation Administration, International Civil Aviation Organization

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