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Class E Surface Area Question

2014-01-30 Airspace Question

Sorry for the boring question.

FAR 103.17 says that we can't fly in the "lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport" without permission. I've always assumed that all the examples below qualify but someone has recently suggested that the extensions on number 3 may not be. I would love to believe that, and am trying to get an answer from FAA headquarters (AFS 800), but they have so far not responded.

The magenta dashed lines below are where class E goes to the surface. We're not allowed to fly there without permission so this is significant to ultralight pilots. Certified aircraft have no such limitation. Number 3 is class D airspace (has a control tower) but has "ears" with class E at the surface shown by the same dashed magenta lines used elsewhere. I've always taken this to carry the same limits as with 1 and 2 but you get permission from the tower as opposed to Air Route Traffic Control Center.

Given that I'm putting this into the airspace video, I want to get it right.

Any input, with support, would be greatly appreciated. Email me at the Contact address. Thanks!

Update 3:21pm ET After posing this question I have gotten responses from two people who are very familiar with the subject (Roy Beisswenger of USUA and Christopher Pine of USPPA) and 3 FAA inspectors from the Sport Pilot Division. They all agree that these magenta dashed "ears" in image 3 below are indeed "designated for an airport." The Sport Pilot Division inspectors, however, made it clear that theirs was only an interpretation and was not intended to set policy.

 

This is "the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport"

 

This is "the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport"

 

But are these?

 

 


© 2016 Jeff Goin & Tim Kaiser   Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!