MLIAA
Topic Author
Posts: 112
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 11:08 pm

US Airspace Reallocation

Tue May 22, 2018 6:07 pm

I've noticed some of the busiest airports in the US are class C airports, some of them are even busier than a few class B airports. I realize airports like PIT and CVG and CLE used to be powerhouses and needed class B status, but is it really necessary today? Especially when the airspaces of the likes of MDW, FLL, and AUS are nearly bursting at the seams?

Speaking for AUS, with the huge amount of flight training done at GTU and HYI, at times a class B shelf would be very handy.
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drdisque
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Re: US Airspace Reallocation

Tue May 22, 2018 6:22 pm

MDW is class C because the ORD class B covers the most important sectors that need to be protected anyway. The South side of MDW really only needs to be protected by Class C because there's not much else down there. It's also to reinforce that the needs of the ORD Class B are more important than the needs of MDW.
 
RDUDDJI
Posts: 2080
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Re: US Airspace Reallocation

Tue May 22, 2018 6:44 pm

MLIAA wrote:
I've noticed some of the busiest airports in the US are class C airports, some of them are even busier than a few class B airports. I realize airports like PIT and CVG and CLE used to be powerhouses and needed class B status, but is it really necessary today? Especially when the airspaces of the likes of MDW, FLL, and AUS are nearly bursting at the seams?

Speaking for AUS, with the huge amount of flight training done at GTU and HYI, at times a class B shelf would be very handy.


AUS?! Hardly. MDW/FLL also not really needed. PIT/CVG/CLE could also be reduced to Class C. I'm sure all the GA pilots would love that.
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Chemist
Posts: 536
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Re: US Airspace Reallocation

Tue May 22, 2018 6:48 pm

It seems that agility for airspace changes is really low in the US. I know Palm Springs (PSP) was a TRSA (Terminal Radar Service Area, a really old construct) even though it should probably be a class C. There are a number of other TRSAs in the US as well. It's an odd old construct and doesn't neatly fit the class ABCD mold. I'm not surprised than the reclassification of airports between B/C/D is slow as traffic levels change.
 
MO11
Posts: 1110
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Re: US Airspace Reallocation

Tue May 22, 2018 7:59 pm

Chemist wrote:
It seems that agility for airspace changes is really low in the US. I know Palm Springs (PSP) was a TRSA (Terminal Radar Service Area, a really old construct) even though it should probably be a class C. There are a number of other TRSAs in the US as well. It's an odd old construct and doesn't neatly fit the class ABCD mold. I'm not surprised than the reclassification of airports between B/C/D is slow as traffic levels change.


Yes, TRSAs became the odd-man out; they didn't meet the qualifications for ARSA, and eventually Class C. It's basically just an controlled airport that also offers radar approach control service.

Remember that in order for an airspace class designations are dependent on number of operations at the primary airport and/or number of enplanements:

Class B: 300,000 ops/year (of which 240,000 are air carrier or air-taxi) AND 5 million passengers enplaned annually at the primary airport.

Class C: 75,000 instrument counts/year at the primary airport OR 100,000 instrument counts/year at the primary and secondary airports OR 250,000 passengers enplaned annually at the primary airport.

PSP would seem to qualify for Class C, since it enplaned over a million passengers last year.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: US Airspace Reallocation

Tue May 22, 2018 8:23 pm

drdisque wrote:
MDW is class C because the ORD class B covers the most important sectors that need to be protected anyway. The South side of MDW really only needs to be protected by Class C because there's not much else down there. It's also to reinforce that the needs of the ORD Class B are more important than the needs of MDW.


MDW is also relatively simple airspace because it’s essentially a 1/2 runway airport all the time. About the most sophisticated operation they run is 4R arrivals and 31C departures, and the only difficult parts of that are the intersection (managed by the tower) and turning 31C departures so they don’t interfere with ORD.
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cvgComair
Posts: 2040
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Re: US Airspace Reallocation

Tue May 22, 2018 9:35 pm

RDUDDJI wrote:
MLIAA wrote:
I've noticed some of the busiest airports in the US are class C airports, some of them are even busier than a few class B airports. I realize airports like PIT and CVG and CLE used to be powerhouses and needed class B status, but is it really necessary today? Especially when the airspaces of the likes of MDW, FLL, and AUS are nearly bursting at the seams?

Speaking for AUS, with the huge amount of flight training done at GTU and HYI, at times a class B shelf would be very handy.


AUS?! Hardly. MDW/FLL also not really needed. PIT/CVG/CLE could also be reduced to Class C. I'm sure all the GA pilots would love that.

I think CVG will reach class B criteria again within the next decade given the growth of Amazon and DHL. Pax will be at 5 million enplaned by 2019 and aircraft movements are rapidly growing.
 
MO11
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Re: US Airspace Reallocation

Tue May 22, 2018 9:51 pm

cvgComair wrote:
I think CVG will reach class B criteria again within the next decade given the growth of Amazon and DHL. Pax will be at 5 million enplaned by 2019 and aircraft movements are rapidly growing.


CVG did increase last year, to 150,000 operations. Do you think it will double any time soon? Even if Amazon and DHL together add 50 flights/day, that's less than 16000/year.
 
cvgComair
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Re: US Airspace Reallocation

Tue May 22, 2018 10:11 pm

MO11 wrote:
cvgComair wrote:
I think CVG will reach class B criteria again within the next decade given the growth of Amazon and DHL. Pax will be at 5 million enplaned by 2019 and aircraft movements are rapidly growing.

CVG did increase last year, to 150,000 operations. Do you think it will double any time soon? Even if Amazon and DHL together add 50 flights/day, that's less than 16000/year.

I think it is possible within a decade. 2018 is on pace for 180,000-190,000 aircraft operations and that is with Amazon only doing about 20 departures a day. According to their plans, they will operate around 200 daily flights in the initial buildout. DHL also has the ability to add around 30 more parking spots, so they could probably add a few dozen more departures a day.

Given the 1200 acres available, that would allow them to build a facility larger than FedEx has in Memphis and UPS has in Louisville (both are roughly 800-900 acres in size). This amount of land gives them the possibly to expand well beyond the initial 200 flights a day. Also, local reports said that Amazon was planning on hiring 15,000 employees at CVG, plus the airport has been working on its 2050 master plan for over a year now and will not be done until next summer (2019). It seems they have plans for a very massive facility, which will inevitably increase aircraft operations dramatically.

The CVG aviation forecast for 2050 is currently being reviewed by the FAA (they have been working with them since last fall on this). Once it comes out, it should give a better idea of how quickly 5 million enplanements and 300,000 a/c ops could be reached.
 
dfwjim1
Posts: 2185
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Re: US Airspace Reallocation

Wed May 30, 2018 3:54 pm

MO11 wrote:
Chemist wrote:
It seems that agility for airspace changes is really low in the US. I know Palm Springs (PSP) was a TRSA (Terminal Radar Service Area, a really old construct) even though it should probably be a class C. There are a number of other TRSAs in the US as well. It's an odd old construct and doesn't neatly fit the class ABCD mold. I'm not surprised than the reclassification of airports between B/C/D is slow as traffic levels change.


Yes, TRSAs became the odd-man out; they didn't meet the qualifications for ARSA, and eventually Class C. It's basically just an controlled airport that also offers radar approach control service.

Remember that in order for an airspace class designations are dependent on number of operations at the primary airport and/or number of enplanements:

Class B: 300,000 ops/year (of which 240,000 are air carrier or air-taxi) AND 5 million passengers enplaned annually at the primary airport.

Class C: 75,000 instrument counts/year at the primary airport OR 100,000 instrument counts/year at the primary and secondary airports OR 250,000 passengers enplaned annually at the primary airport.

PSP would seem to qualify for Class C, since it enplaned over a million passengers last year.


FLL has the passenger count (32 million) but do they have the take offs and landings to qualify for Class B?
 
cvgComair
Posts: 2040
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:48 pm

Re: US Airspace Reallocation

Wed May 30, 2018 3:55 pm

dfwjim1 wrote:
MO11 wrote:
Chemist wrote:
It seems that agility for airspace changes is really low in the US. I know Palm Springs (PSP) was a TRSA (Terminal Radar Service Area, a really old construct) even though it should probably be a class C. There are a number of other TRSAs in the US as well. It's an odd old construct and doesn't neatly fit the class ABCD mold. I'm not surprised than the reclassification of airports between B/C/D is slow as traffic levels change.


Yes, TRSAs became the odd-man out; they didn't meet the qualifications for ARSA, and eventually Class C. It's basically just an controlled airport that also offers radar approach control service.

Remember that in order for an airspace class designations are dependent on number of operations at the primary airport and/or number of enplanements:

Class B: 300,000 ops/year (of which 240,000 are air carrier or air-taxi) AND 5 million passengers enplaned annually at the primary airport.

Class C: 75,000 instrument counts/year at the primary airport OR 100,000 instrument counts/year at the primary and secondary airports OR 250,000 passengers enplaned annually at the primary airport.

PSP would seem to qualify for Class C, since it enplaned over a million passengers last year.


FLL has the passenger count (32 million) but do they have the take offs and landings to qualify for Class B?

Yes, they had just over 300,000 ops for 2017.
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: US Airspace Reallocation

Wed May 30, 2018 4:19 pm

MLIAA wrote:
I've noticed some of the busiest airports in the US are class C airports, some of them are even busier than a few class B airports. I realize airports like PIT and CVG and CLE used to be powerhouses and needed class B status, but is it really necessary today? Especially when the airspaces of the likes of MDW, FLL, and AUS are nearly bursting at the seams?

Speaking for AUS, with the huge amount of flight training done at GTU and HYI, at times a class B shelf would be very handy.

There's a very simple reason that not very many changes in airspace classification occur, and it's one that no one has mentioned: lawsuits. Any time a change in airspace classification occurs, AOPA and other groups sue the FAA, and tie it up in court for years.

That's why Class Bravos are never downgraded to Charlies — you wouldn't return a surplus at the end of the fiscal year, would you? You'd spend it, because if you return it, they might cut your budget, and you may never get it back again. It's the same principle. If a Bravo reverted to a Charlie, and after a few years it needed to become a Bravo again, it's not as easy as drawing some new lines on a chart. That process takes years. You're better off keeping what you've got.

It's the same reason why Class Charlies rarely become Bravos anymore, and why it's been something like 25 years since a Class Delta has become a Charlie. The time and expense of dealing with the lawsuits makes the process prohibitive. It's easier to optimize traffic flows than it is to reclassify or significantly change a portion of controlled airspace.

If and until the FAA has more flexibility for reclassification of airspace, there just won't be that much movement from the status quo.

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