Air Traffic Control Services in Ireland

Published: 05th October 2011
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Air Traffic Services

Air Traffic Services to General Aviation (GA) traffic are provided by the Irish Aviation Authority

The different types of Air Traffic Services available in Ireland are as follows:

  • Air Traffic Control Service (ATC)

  • Flight Information Service (FIS)

  • Alerting Service

Air Traffic Control (ATC)

ATC at an aerodrome is responsible for the seperation and control of aircraft in the air in the vicinity of the aerodrome and all traffic on the ground. All ground movements of aircraft require prior permission from ATC.

ATC may use different radio frequencies for ground movements, local traffic, IFR traffic and for aircraft further away from the aerodrome to avoid frequency congestion. Examples of the radio callsigns for these frequencies are as follows:

  • Cork Approach

  • Cork Ground

  • Cork Tower

  • Cork Radar

If the station you are talking to has a callsign using any of the words "approach", "ground", "tower" or "radar", then you will know that you are talking to an ATC service.

Flight Information Service (FIS)

FIS is provided at some aerodromes which do not have ATC to give information relevant to the safe conduct of flights within the control zone.

The FIS is not permitted to give instructions to aircraft in flight but may give taxi instructions to aircraft on the ground. FIS is not a control service. When FIS is provided, the callsign suffix "Information" is used, e.g. "Dublin Information". This callsign lets you know that it is a Flight Information Service and not Air Traffic Control.

FIS is not currently used in any aerodrome control zones in Ireland but it is used in uncontrolled airspace. The FIS service provides local information on weather, serviceability of radio navigation aids, aerodrome conditions and other reported traffic.

Air/Ground Radio Station

Some aerodromes provide neither ATC nor FIS. They are normally smaller aerodromes or less busy aerodromes. A lot of these aerodromes have an Air/Ground radio station that allows them to communicate with other aircraft.

These radios are normally manned by people without ATC qualifications (if they are manned at all). These stations might only operate at weekends so do not be surprised if you call them and no-one replies. The Air/Ground station cannot give any instructions to aircraft. Only basic information is provided, e.g. wind velocity, active runway, traffic in the circuit etc.

The callsign suffix "Radio" is used for these stations, e.g. "Birr Radio".


Further information about Air Traffic Control (ATC) services, Flight Information Service (FIS) and all Air Traffic Services in Ireland may be found in the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) Ireland. Ask your instructor to show it to you if you have not already seen it. You can also download the AIP from the Irish Aviation Authority's website. AIP download.

Further information may be found at

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