Sofia ATC centre
Sofia Air Traffic Control (ATC) Centre provides air navigation services in Sofia Flight Information Region (Sofia FIR) comprising the sovereign airspace of the Republic of Bulgaria and that part of the airspace over the Black Sea wherein the Republic of Bulgaria has assumed responsibility for the provision of air navigation services.
Air navigation services from Sofia ATC Centre are provided by the following air traffic services (ATS) units:
- Sofia Area Control Centre (Sofia ACC) providing air traffic control service to aircraft overflying Sofia Flight Information Region (Sofia FIR);
- Sofia Approach Control Unit (Sofia APP) providing air traffic control service to aircraft arriving at or departing from Sofia Airport;
- Sofia Aerodrome Control Tower (Sofia TWR) providing aerodrome traffic control service at Sofia Airport;
- Sofia Flight Information Centre (Sofia FIC) providing flight information service and alerting service to aircraft performing flights in Sofia FIR between the ground level/water surface and FL 95 outside the controlled airspace.
The air navigation services at Sofia Air Traffic Control (ATC) Centre are provided by the automated ATM System SATCAS which was put into operation on 14 February 2008. The current automated ATM System SATCAS V3 FR provides multi-radar information and multiple functionalities for internal coordination between sectors and exchange of information with other systems, thus rendering it as one of the most advanced ATM systems in Europe.
Sofia Area Control Centre (ACC) provides continuous ATS over a territory of approximately 145,000 km2. In 2022 were serviced 745,361 civil aircraft overflights, with no delays caused by operational constraints. During the busy summer period Sofia ACC services about 3,000 overflying aircraft per day, where the peak was on 18.08.2018 (Saturday) with 3,422 overflying aircraft.
Sofia ACC has the capacity for simultaneous operation of 11 civil sectors and 2 sectors for civil-military coordination. Each sector is equipped with identical working positions for two Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs) – one executive and one planner ATCO.
Sofia Approach (APP) and Sofia Tower (TWR) provide air traffic control services to the flights at Sofia Airport. The air traffic flow serviced at Sofia Airport consists mainly of regular international lines. In 2022 at Sofia airport were serviced more than 53,000 aircraft movements. The plans for extension of Sofia Airport and the opening of new international lines require the implementation of an Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (A-SMGCS), which will ensure safe services to aircraft and vehicles on the aerodrome maneuvering area.
Sofia Flight Information Centre (FIC) provides flight information service to aircraft performing flights in the uncontrolled airspace Class G. The service is provided by ATCO coordinators who receive and disseminate aeronautical, meteorological and other information which may affect flight safety.
Sofia FIC provides flight information service in the airspace of Sofia FIR outside the controlled zones/areas and ATS routes between the ground level/water surface and FL 105.
Sofia FIC provides flight information service mostly to general aviation aircraft performing low altitude flights.