Doha flight information region (FIR) is all set to be a reality with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) agreeing to proceed with its establishment in twin phases, which not only ensures Qatar’s sovereign airspace but also help the country add new air routes.
The establishment of Doha FIR is on the basis of a phased approach as presented in the ICAO council’s report. This came during the 10th meeting of the council in its 225th session held on March 11, 2022.
The council’s decision, which approved the dimensions of the Doha FIR/SRR (search and rescue region), including the revised dimensions of the Bahrain FIR/SRR, would be established in two phases.
The first phase of the Doha FIR covers all the economic waters and land of Qatar in addition to the international waters east of Qatar till the borders of the UAE to an unlimited altitude.
The airspace above the international waters north of Qatar until the borders of Iran will be controlled to an altitude of 24,500 feet above sea level.
The council agreed that within two years, upon successful implementation of the first phase, the second phase shall see all areas of the Doha FIR expanded to an unlimited altitude.
"Qatar is looking forward to cooperation between all countries for the timely implementation of the decisions made," Minister of Transport HE Jassim Saif Ahmed al-Sulaiti said, reaffirming Qatar’s commitment to safety and security of the civil aviation.
Qatar initiated its endeavor to achieve a Doha FIR/SRR back in 2018 until the issuance of the ICAO decision C-DEC223/9 where the Doha FIR/SRR proposal was agreed in principle.
The minister appreciated the efforts of the ICAO council in this regard and thanked the stance of the member states to approve Qatar’s proposal, which contributed to setting out a full plan for its implementation.
During the implementation of the first phase of Doha FIR, Qatar will be able to add new air routes and increase the capacity of the aircraft waiting area in the air, he said.
This is in addition to increasing the area of search and rescue according to the FIR’s new dimensions, thus keeping pace with the development and achievements being witnessed by Qatar’s civil aviation and based on the country’s clear right to achieve its own region, according to al-Sulaiti.
Qatar's civil aviation achievements include developing the systems used in air navigation in line with latest global specifications, besides increasing the number of vital air routes within Qatar’s airspace in order to accommodate the requirements of large air traffic, thus demonstrating the unique performance of the services in the country.
Qatar has over the past years been stressing its firm belief in the rules and fundamentals that govern the relations between countries in the civil aviation community.
Stressing that Qatar is also proud of being a key and active contributor and player in that UN body, he said Qatar will spare no effort in supporting the universal civil aviation industry to create an aviation sector that is safe, secure, sustainable and efficient.
The ICAO council’s decision, which approved the dimensions of the Doha FIR/SRR (search and rescue region), including the revised dimensions of the Bahrain FIR/SRR, would be established in two phases.