Albania

Risk Level: Three - Caution

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Pilots should exercise extreme caution while operating in Albanian airspace (the LAAA/Tirana FIR) due to a heightened risk of degraded ATC services.

On April 8, Albanian airspace (the LAAA/Tirana FIR) along with LATI/Tirana Airport was forced to close, after a number of local air traffic controllers declared themselves temporarily unfit to work.

Local air traffic controllers are working under significant duress and high stress, having been threatened with dismissal (or worse - being arrested and jailed) if they do not declare themselves fit for duty. In addition, a number of foreign controllers have reportedly been brought in despite not being trained or rated on any of the local positions.

Several international associations have published warnings, including IFALPA and IFATCA.

Current warnings list :

Source Reference Issued Valid to
IFALPA Safety Bulletin 13 Apr 2021 Ongoing
IFATCA Press Release 10 Apr 2021 Ongoing
Source: IFALPA
Reference: Safety Bulletin
Issued: 13-Apr-21, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: Pilots should exercise extreme caution while operating in Albanian airspace (the LAAA/Tirana FIR) due to a heightened risk of degraded ATC services.
Albanian airspace (the LAAA/Tirana FIR) along with LATI/Tirana Airport was closed on 8 April 2021 due to a lack of ATC staff.

There is an ongoing dispute between ATC and the authorities which has resulted in three controllers being detained.

Although the airspace has been re-opened, the Albanian controllers still working are under extreme pressure for their future employment.

There are reports that controllers from other States have been brought in to replace the Albanian controllers, their status as to training and local ratings are unknown.

Pilots are requested to exercise extreme caution while operating within this airspace.
Source: IFATCA
Reference: Press Release
Issued: 10-Apr-21, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: Pilots should exercise extreme caution while operating in Albanian airspace (the LAAA/Tirana FIR) due to a heightened risk of degraded ATC services.
All States, particularly those in the European community, and all airlines planning to land or overfly the territory of Albania should be aware of a heightened risk of degraded services due to a severe conflict between the local ATC staff and their government.