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it all started on 29 February 1972 at 23:05 UTC when EUROCONTROL’s Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC) processed the first aircraft that flew through its area of responsibility. For the first time, traffic in one country was controlled from an international ATC facility located in another country.
45 years later, the Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre is not only one of Europe’s top performing cross-border ANSPs but also an integrated civil-military service provider.
MUAC was initially entrusted with the Brussels Upper Information Region (UIR) above Division Flight Level 195. Soon thereafter the Hannover UIR was integrated, followed some ten years later by the Amsterdam Flight Information Region. To date, the area of responsibility of the Maastricht UAC extends over the upper airspace of four European countries - Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and north-west Germany.
The yearly traffic controlled by MUAC controllers has grown ninefold and more than 41 million flights have crossed MUAC’s airspace since 1972. Besides the territorial expansion and the increasing traffic, technology and procedures have evolved dramatically to keep up with the new challenges.
The Maastricht UAC has mirrored these changes in its strategies but one thing remains unchanged: the commitment of the people to continue to provide excellent services without any compromise to the highest safety standards.
Watch this short animation featuring some of the main milestones of MUAC during its first 45 years: