Published on March 30th, 2023 | by Mark Dwyer


Dublin Airspace Closures

In the early hours of Wednesday 29th March Dublin Airspace closed to all inbound, outbound and overflying traffic. The Dublin CTA operates up to FL245 with Shannon operating the airspace above that. Shannon high level was unaffected by the closure. A NOTAM was issued on Tuesday evening indicating that the Dublin CTA would go to “Zero Flow Rate” from 01:00z to 01:30z (02:00-02:30 local) and from 03:00z to 03:30z (04:00-04:30 local).

A copy of the NOTAM Issues on the IAA PIB.

A number of aircraft were affected by the closure including EI132 (Boston to Dublin) and EI100 (Newark to Dublin) both had to hold at high altitude over the Shannon VOR for the airspace to reopen at 03:30. EI575 from Alicante to Dublin also had to hold just south of the Dublin CTA before being allowed to continue shortly after 01:30. We understand a number of other flights, mainly cargo operators, received ATC slot restrictions.

The EI132 was one of a number of aircraft that had to hold outside of the Dublin CTA due to the airspace closure.

The airspace closures are reportedly due to Dublin Area Control Centre staff shortages. The 30-minute closures were to facilitate mandatory controller breaks. This would indicate that only a single controller for the Dublin CTA sector was on duty. Similar shortages affected Cork and Shannon Airports last summer. A spokesperson for the IAA confirmed that: “due to short notice sick leave, the IAA’s Dublin air traffic control operations temporarily restricted the flow of air traffic arriving and departing Dublin Airport in order to ensure safety was maintained. The IAA liaised with the airlines and the daa about the flow restrictions.”

The entire Dublin CTA was closed for two 30-minute periods in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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