Isavia ANS ehf., Reykjavíkurflugvelli, 102 Reykjavík /
Isavia ANS, Reykjavik Airport, IS-102 Reykjavik, Iceland
Sími / Telephone: + 354 424 4000 

AIC B 005 / 2018
Effective from  20 JUL 2018
Published on 20 JUL 2018
Lækkun út úr flugstjórnarrými yfir Íslandi /
Descend out of controlled airspace over Iceland

Content Responsibility: ISAVIA ANS

1 Introduction

1.1 The purpose of this AIC is to explain the valid rules on descend out of controlled airspace over Iceland.

2 Discussion

2.1    In ENR 1.6.2 section 1. f, it states that the responsibility for terrain (obstacle) clearance is only accepted by ATC when vectoring IFR flights. This means that it is always the responsibility of the pilot to make sure the aircraft is above the obstacle level, unless he has received vectors from ATC.

2.2    An aircraft can never receive a clearance below the minimum altitude of the route that it has a clearance to fly.

2.3    An aircraft on an IFR clearance can receive a descend clearance out of controlled airspace where a descend procedure has been published in AIP Iceland, whether it is an ARRIVAL PROCEDURES such as VAD ONE ARRIVAL via BRUSI into Egilsstadir airport, approach procedure such as NDB RWY12 via SULAN to Vestmannaeyjar airport or RNAV(GNSS) D via KUMUX into Isafjordur airport.

3 Pilot Procedures

3.1    If a pilot receives a clearance for a descend out of controlled airspace without specifying which procedure is to be flown, the pilot shall report to ATC which procedure he intends to follow (see ENR

3.2    If an IFR aircraft wants to fly direct to an airport that has no published descend procedure for example Stykkisholmur airport it can receive a descend clearance to the area´s minimum altitude (2000 feet above the highest terrain, see ENR 6.1-3), it must cancel IFR for further descend below the minimum altitude and out of controlled airspace (3000 feet above sea level or 1000 feet over earth, whichever is higher). The same rule applies if an aircraft has a clearance to fly direct to an airport but not to the waypoint or beacon (NDB/VOR) where the published descend procedure is from.

Note: Even though there is a published descend procedure from a beacon or a waypoint near the airport, the aircraft must have an IFR clearance via that waypoint or beacon to receive a descend clearance out of controlled airspace.

3.3    An IFR aircraft may not turn of the cleared route while inside controlled airspace unless it has received a reroute clearance from ATC. This rules also applies while an aircraft is following an approach procedure where part of it (including missed approach) is within controlled airspace.

3.4    If a pilot wishes to fly a different route than the aircraft has already been cleared, for example make an approach from the south instead the approach that is published to the north from the beacon that the aircraft has been cleared to. Then the pilot shall contact ACC or AFIS at the airport, as applicable and request a reroute to the beacon or waypoint where the published approach procedure to the south start from. Wait until the clearance is received before the turn is commenced. Also, weather permitting the pilot can report that he is cancelling his IFR flight and proceed VFR.

3.5    Within Reykjavik CTA where the minimum altitude is lower than the lower limit of the CTA (for example over the Atlantic Ocean or over Greenland) an aircraft can receive a descend clearance out of controlled airspace even though there is no published descend procedure.

4 Further Information

For further information, please contact:

Netfang / Email:


AIC hereby cancelled:  

B 004 / 2014


NOTAM incorporated in this AIC: