Due to the vast coverage of airspace, Santa Maria FIR is the biggest of Europe and one of the biggest in the World.
Covering the South-East part of the North Atlantic Ocean, Santa Maria FIR is on the key routes of most of the flights from Europe to Central and South America.
In the middle of the FIR, the nine beautiful Azores islands that attract thousands of tourists every here increase the traffic level on Santa Maria FIR. The airports are also know for saving a considerable amount of lives by serving as an En-route Alternate for many of the pond crossings.
Thanks to technology advances on ADS-B/C and MLAT, despite being in the middle of the ocean, the ground stations located on Flores and Santa Maria Islands allow for a radar coverage that further ensures flight safety, being even greater than the conventional VHF communications range, that in conjunction with CPDLC, allow for a better traffic flow.
The FIR is divided into Santa Maria TMA, a region that covers all of the aerodromes airspace and the coverage brought by Radar/MLAT/ADS-B/C, and Santa Maria Oceanic, that covers the remaining airspace.
So, if you fancy an VFR island hop or a calm medium-haul flight, there is no better place!