Air Traffic Services - Bulgarian Air Traffic Services Authority (BULATSA)

Go to content

Main menu

Air Traffic Services

Area of Responsibility

State Enterprise "Air Traffic Services Authority" (BULATSA) provides continuous air traffic services (ATS) in the airspace over the territory and the territorial waters of the Republic of Bulgaria and in that part of the airspace over the Black Sea, for which the Republic of Bulgaria has assumed responsibility for the provision of air traffic services according to a regional agreement.   

ATS Units

BULATSA has set up the following ATS units:

  • Sofia Area Control Centre (Sofia ACC) providing air traffic control service to aircraft overflying Sofia Flight Information Region (Sofia FIR);

  • Approach Control Units (APP) providing air traffic control service to aircraft arriving at or departing from the aerodromes of Sofia, Burgas, and Varna;

  • Aerodrome Control Towers (TWR) providing aerodrome traffic control service at the airports of Sofia, Burgas, Varna, Plovdiv and Gorna Oryahovitsa;

  • Sofia Flight Information Centre (Sofia FIC) providing flight information service and alerting service to aircraft performing flights in Sofia FIR class G airspace up to FL 95;

  • Balchik Airport Flight Information Service (AFIS) unit providing flight information service and alerting service within the area of Balchik Airport.


Sofia Area Control Centre

On 14 February 2008, following the commencement of operations of the new automated ATM SATCAS V.2 System, procured from SELEX Sistemi Integrati S.p.A., BULATSA merged the ATS functions of the former Varna ACC and Sofia ACC. Air navigation services are presently provided by Sofia ACC, which is situated at the Common National Air Traffic Control Centre (CNATCC) in the vicinity of the new terminal of Sofia Airport. The automated ATM System presents multi-radar information and possesses a number of functionalities enabling internal inter-sector coordination and data exchange with other systems, thus rendering it one of the most advanced ATM systems in Europe.

Every 24 hours during the high summer season services are provided to approximately 2,000 overflying aircraft. Sofia ACC has the required capacity for the simultaneous operation of 11 civil sectors and 2 sectors for civil/military coordination. Each of the sectors is equipped with identical working positions for two air traffic controllers (ATCOs) - executive and planner ATCO working positions.

Approach Control Units

BULATSA provides air traffic services to aircraft arriving at or departing from the aerodromes of Sofia, Burgas, and Varna by means of three approach control units (APP):

  • APP Sofia situated at the CNATCC in Sofia;

  • APP Varna situated at Varna Airport ATS Centre;

  • APP Burgas situated at Burgas Airport ATS Centre.

Approach Control Units provide radar air navigation services, enabling separation and channeling the air traffic flows to/from the airports.  
Approach Control Units provide automatic terminal information service (ATIS), including meteorological and operational information about NAV aids and aerodromes.

Aerodrome Control Towers

BULATSA provides air traffic services to aircraft arriving at or departing from the aerodromes of Sofia, Burgas, Varna, Plovdiv and Gorna Oryahovitsa by means of five aerodrome control towers (TWR):

  • Sofia TWR situated at Sofia Airport;

  • Varna TWR situated at Varna Airport;

  • Burgas TWR situated at Burgas Airport;

  • Plovdiv TWR situated at Plovdiv Airport;

  • Gorna Oryahovitsa TWR situated at Gorna Oryahovitsa Airport.

Aerodrome Control Towers ensure the safety of air traffic at the airport and in the vicinity of the airport, preventing collisions between departing and landing aircraft, aircraft performing flights in the TWR's area of responsibility and the aerodrome circle, and between aircraft and vehicles moving on the aerodromes' maneuvering area.

Sofia Flight Information Centre

Sofia Flight Information Centre (Sofia FIC) provides flight information service to aircraft performing flights in Class G uncontrolled airspace. The service is provided by ATCO coordinators who receive and disseminate aeronautical, meteorological and other information which may affect the safety of flights.
Sofia Flight Information Centre provides flight information service in the airspace of Sofia FIR outside the controlled zones/areas and ATS routes between the ground level/water surface and FL 95.

Balchik Airport Flight Information Service (AFIS) unit

In April 2011 BULATSA commenced the provision of flight information services at Balchik Airport. The service is supplied by the Balchik Airport Flight Information Service unit which provides the information necessary for the safe and expeditious execution of aerodrome traffic.  

In view of the proximity of Varna and Balchik airports, procedures have been developed for interaction and coordination between the two ATS units aimed at ensuring the safe and effective services to flights to/from those two airdromes.


Back to content | Back to main menu