Irish Aviation Authority
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) (Irish: Údaras Eitlíochta na hÉireann) is a state owned company in Ireland responsible for the regulation of safety aspects of air travel. It is also responsible for providing Air Traffic Control (ATC) services to Ireland's three main airports, namely Dublin, Shannon and Cork. Its head office is in The Times Building in Dublin.
The authority regulates the safety standards of Irish civil aviation and provides air traffic management and aeronautical communications services in Irish controlled airspace. The authority was established under the Irish Aviation Authority Act, 1993. It is not to be confused with the Commission for Aviation Regulation which is responsible for regulation of the economic aspects of air travel in the State.
The authority controls air traffic for all the major international airports in Ireland.
- Shannon - The majority of air traffic controllers in Ireland work in the Shannon ATC centre. It is from here that 80% of all flights transiting between Europe and North America are controlled. These are flights that don't touch down on Irish soil. Shannon controls these flights as far as 15 degrees west, approximately 385 kilometres off the Irish coast. From here they are handed over to Shanwick for their journey across the Atlantic Ocean.
- Dublin - There are approximately 87 Air Traffic Controllers in Dublin. The vertical limit of Dublin's Airspace is Flight Level 245 (24,500 ft). Dublin Airport is by far the busiest airport in Ireland. Estimates for 2009 show 23.5 million passengers going through the airport.
- Cork - Cork ATC provide an approach and an aerodrome service to traffic arriving and departing Cork. The Cork Control Zone has a radius of 15 nautical miles (28 km) and a vertical limit of 5,000 ft (1,500 m).
The smaller airports such as Ireland West provide their own approach and aerodrome service.
In recent years, the authority has invested more than €115 million in air traffic control systems . This includes a new air traffic control centre (ATCC) at Ballycasey Cross, Shannon. Built on a Greenfield site, this ATCC became fully operational in February 2004 and replaces the ATC Centre at Shannon Airport which had been in operation since 1966. The new ATC centre houses the Shannon element of the new Air Traffic Management (ATM) system introduced in Shannon and Dublin in 2004.
The authority is also responsible for providing communications in Shanwick airspace, with NATS providing the ATC from Prestwick. Shannon Aeradio, as it is known, is based in Ballygirreen, Newmarket-on-Fergus, County Clare.
On 1 October 2009, the Minister for Transport, Noel Dempsey, announced that the regulatory aspects of the IAA's remit would be transferred to the Dublin Transport Authority (which is proposed to be renamed as the National Transport Authority).
In July 2015, the Irish government revealed plans to purchase a long-range radar system at a cost of €10 million for the Irish Aviation Authority and Irish Defence Forces (military) to keep track of covert aircraft flying in Irish-controlled airspace, including military aircraft that do not file a flight plan and do not have their transponders switched on. Minister for Defence Simon Coveney said the increased surveillance capability would give better coverage of the Atlantic airspace over which the IAA has responsibility for civil and military aircraft.
- "IIA Locations." Irish Aviation Authority. Retrieved on 30 December 2013. "Irish Aviation Authority, The Times Building, 11-12 D'Olier Street, Dublin 2."
- O'Brien, Stephen (5 July 2015). "€10m radar goes to the front line of military shopping list". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 6 July 2015.