New civilian air routes were established across Albanian airspace on 24 January 2024 to facilitate flights to and from Pristina airport. This new development is the result of efforts carried out under a NATO-led process aimed at normalizing civil aviation traffic across the Western Balkans. The new routes will positively affect civil aviation and provide significant benefits, including shorter flight times, lower fuel consumption, and reduced pollution.
In 2014, the upper airspace over Kosovo was reopened. This was made possible by the contributions provided by Hungary and the role performed by its Air Navigation Service Provider (HUNGAROCONTROL), which undertook the responsibility of controlling flights above 21,000 feet. In recent years, through the Balkans Aviation Normalization Meetings, NATO facilitated the formalization of a Framework Agreement between KFOR and Iceland.
Iceland’s Transport Safety Authority (ICETRA) is now acting as a Safety Oversight Function in support to the KFOR Commander, who retains primary authority for the use of the lower airspace over Kosovo, as per the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 of 1999. ICETRA performs the scrutiny of all the technical solutions that allow for the establishment of new direct routes, in the lower airspace, between Pristina and other cities.