Italian Airspace Structure

National airspace is divided in 3 FIR="Flight Information Regions" (GND-FL195)and 3 corresponding UIR="Upper Information Regions" (FL195-FL460):

"Flight Information Centers" are the ATC entities operating inside each FIR, providing the basic "Information Service/Alert Service" to all kind of air traffic (VFR and IFR). Each FIR is then split in at least one ACC="Area Control Center": Within Milano FIR/UIR there are 2 Centers:

  • MILANO (Milan) ACC and
  • PADOVA (Padua) ACC;

Within Roma FIR/UIR there is

  • ROMA (Rome) ACC;

Within Brindisi FIR/UIR there is


vACC-Italy also provides Aerodrome Flight Information Service in Lampedusa (LICD) airport, within:

"Enroute Control Centers" are the ATC entities operating inside each ACC, providing "Air Traffic Control Service" in a safe and flowing way to all the IFR traffic operating along Lower Airways (AWY) or inside Terminal Areas (TMA) within the FIRs (GND-FL195), and ANYWHERE within the UIRs (FL195-FL460).
"Enroute Control Centers" are entitled to give the "Enroute Clearances" to every IFR flight departing an airport located in its own ACC.

They also control enroute flights and authorize the beginning of descents for inbound flights, operating in tight cooperation with APPs, to whom they will later transfer the control of those flights.


Approach Control Zones (CTR) and
Aerodrome Traffic Zones (ATZ)


APPROACH CONTROL ZONES (Control Zone = CTR, not to be mistaken with the Control Center, that is an ATS unit) are controlled airspaces of various sizes around one or more airports established to protect departure and approach procedures.
The ATS unit operating within CTRs is the APPROACH CONTROL (APP).
Its main role is to provide separation between all the IFR aircraft landing and departing from and to all the airports in its own CTR.
APP carries out a sensitive control function, essential for the promptness of the air traffic, located between those of the Control Centre and of the Tower Control, tightly operating with them. APP has to establish a safe time of departure ("release") for every departing flight, after obtaining the "enroute clearance"by the Control Centre.
It establishes the approach sequence and the best procedures for all the approaching flights, with the aim to minimize delays.
Aerodrome Traffic Zones (ATZ) are usually 5nm-wide airspaces located around the airfield to take care of its traffic circuit.
The operating ATS unit is the TOWER CONTROL (TWR) that is responsibile of the separation between landing and taking-off aircraft. One of its tasks is issuing landing and take-off clearance for all the aircraft. Tower Control operates in continue contact with APP and it's subject to its decisions about the departure sequence, for which it will receive "release" time by time.

Continues in "Handover"