2H4
Topic Author
Posts: 7960
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 11:11 pm

What Does It Take To Get An Alert Area?

Sun Feb 27, 2005 10:15 am

Well...basically, what the subject says.

Specifically, the Battle Creek/Kalamazoo area in SW Michigan. Any unfamiliar pilot passing through the area would be surprised at just how much training traffic is concentrated between and around these two airports. This doesn't just apply to transient GA traffic, either. Airline traffic inbound to AZO and corporate flights into BTL frequently express concern over the sheer volume of training aircraft maneuvering in the area.


The AIM's definition of an Alert Area:
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3-4-6. Alert Areas

Alert areas are depicted on aeronautical charts to inform nonparticipating pilots of areas that may contain a high volume of pilot training or an unusual type of aerial activity. Pilots should be particularly alert when flying in these areas. All activity within an alert area shall be conducted in accordance with CFRs, without waiver, and pilots of participating aircraft as well as pilots transiting the area shall be equally responsible for collision avoidance.


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WMU has 54 aircraft. When the weather is nice, most of them are in the air throughout the day. Additionally, WMU has planes based at both airports, and there is a great deal of traffic travelling between the two. As if that weren't enough, a second, smaller flight school is based at BTL.

If the AZO/BTL area doesn't qualify for an alert area, what does?


2H4


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corey07850
Posts: 2335
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 4:33 am

RE: What Does It Take To Get An Alert Area?

Sun Feb 27, 2005 10:23 am

Quoting 2H4 (reply 0):
If the AZO/BTL area doesn't qualify for an alert area, what does?


Take a look at a JAX sectional and note the Alert areas down by MIA/FLL... 50 something planes is nothing near what would be required. I would gather that in these areas of Florida, there are hundreds of different flight schools with hundreds if not thousands of planes.

Here at DAB, ERAU has a good 100 planes, along with another 5 or so flight schools on the airport.... as well as a bunch more flight schools at airports in the area, and we don't have an Alert Area...
 
2H4
Topic Author
Posts: 7960
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 11:11 pm

RE: What Does It Take To Get An Alert Area?

Sun Feb 27, 2005 10:33 am

Quoting Corey07850 (reply 1):
Here at DAB, ERAU has a good 100 planes, along with another 5 or so flight schools on the airport.... as well as a bunch more flight schools at airports in the area, and we don't have an Alert Area...



...Right, so if they're not being utilized in areas like this, why do they even exist?


2H4
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meister808
Posts: 924
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2000 11:45 am

RE: What Does It Take To Get An Alert Area?

Sun Feb 27, 2005 1:04 pm

Yeah UND doesn't have one either, with about 80 planes. This question has been on my mind since I first learned what an alert area was. The funny thing for us, however, is that Grand Forks Air Force Base, 10 miles west of GFK, has an alert area reading:

CAUTION - HIGH SPEED AND TRANSPORT CATEGORY AIRCRAFT OPERATING WITHIN 25 NM OF GRAND FORKS AFB - GFK APPROACH 118.1 132.3

The base has maybe 4 flights a day, and they get that, and we don't get any notice of the high-density training that is going on. Is that sensible at all?

-Meister
Twin Cessna 812 Victor, Minneapolis Center, we observe your operation in the immediate vicinity of extreme precipitation
 
pilotpip
Posts: 2820
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 3:26 pm

RE: What Does It Take To Get An Alert Area?

Sun Feb 27, 2005 11:15 pm

I wish there were a couple in the STL area. There are large flight schools at ALN, CPS, and SUS. Parks colleg looked into getting one a number of years ago but apparently the FSDO wasn't too helpful in working out an Alert area set up. I guess they didn't want to do the paperwork.
DMI
 
thegreatchecko
Posts: 689
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 3:34 pm

RE: What Does It Take To Get An Alert Area?

Mon Feb 28, 2005 10:14 am

I've always understood that it usually takes a few midairs before the FAA will go "out of their way" to setup an alert area. Sadly, I'm not kidding...

The alert areas in the MIA area, especially the northern one near FXE, have been the scene of a few midairs in the past few years, even after they were set up.

I would bet that the reason the FAA hasn't seen a need to create alert areas for the large flight schools listed is that, to my understanding, most if not all have air-to-air traffic advisory frequencies and pretty robust safety programs that tend to track near miss incidents to alert their pilots of trouble spots.

Also, I would argue that the aircraft from these flight schools are probably more likely to have a midair with an aircraft from the same flight school than a transient aircraft because of their density in the area. The aforementioned remedies are probably more effective in these situations.

Though it would be nice to have an alert area or two (I know I'd love to know where the practice areas are for the larger flight schools and academies) I bet the FAA really doesn't see much of a use (i.e. a justification for the money/time involved).

GreatChecko
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