Flight information region

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In aviation, a flight information region (FIR) is a specified region of airspace in which a flight information service and an alerting service (ALRS) are provided. It is the largest regular division of airspace in use in the world today. FIRs have existed since 1947 at least.[1][2]

Every portion of the atmosphere belongs to a specific FIR. Smaller countries' airspace is encompassed by a single FIR; larger countries' airspace is subdivided into a number of regional FIRs.[3][4]

Some FIRs encompass the territorial airspace of several countries.[5] Oceanic airspace is divided into Oceanic Information Regions and delegated to a controlling authority bordering that region. The division among authorities is done by international agreement through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

There is no standard size for FIRs – it is a matter for administrative convenience of the country concerned. In some cases there is a vertical division of the FIR, in which case the lower portion remains named as such, whereas the airspace above is named Upper Information Region (UIR).

An information service and alerting service are the basic levels of air traffic service, providing information pertinent to the safe and efficient conduct of flights and alerting the different relevant authorities should an aircraft be in distress. These are available to all aircraft through a FIR. Higher levels of Air Traffic Advisory and Control services may be available within certain portions of airspace within a FIR, according to the ICAO class of that portion of airspace (with regard to national regulations), and the existence of a suitably equipped authority to provide the services.

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  1. ^ "Record Strait Traffic Due Today". The Mercury. Hobart, Tas.: National Library of Australia. 24 December 1947. p. 1. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Ensuring safety of air routes.". The Advocate. Burnie, Tas.: National Library of Australia. 4 February 1953. p. 3. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  3. ^ Bhalotra, Y. P. R; Botswana. Department of Meteorological Services (1990), Gaborone flight information region requirements for meteorological service, Director, Meteorological Services, retrieved 23 January 2014 
  4. ^ "Ex-military spy drone to conduct NASA climate tests in Australian airspace" ABC News (24 January 2014) re: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia FIR – "Airservices Australia today confirmed that the NASA Global Hawk would conduct tropospheric research in Brisbane's Flight Information Region (FIR).Brisbane's FIR covers an area including northern New South Wales, Queensland, Northern Territory and northern Western Australia plus airspace over the north and north eastern oceans"
  5. ^ Jeziorski, Andrzej (1999-03-10), "South Pacific Forum pushes for unified flight information region", Flight International, Reed Business Information Ltd: 14(1), ISSN 0015-3710 

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