Airspace and Air Traffic Control

In my Monday’s Ground School class on November 28, 2011 we were taught about Airspace. There are six classes of Airspace, A, B, C, D, E and G, and of these the first five are controlled i.e. Controlled Airspace, meaning that Air Traffic Control knows that a plane is flying in this class of airspace and, will therefore also know if that plane is supposed to be there or not. Airspace exists for a number of reasons some of which are, to separate the various types of aircraft from running into each other, to keep aircraft away from military areas, not only because these are sensitive areas but also because the military might be practicing flying maneuvers or even testing missiles etc. So it’s also in the interest of civilian safety that certain areas are restricted for flying. There is no Class F airspace in the US. Each class of airspace has its own requirements if you want to fly through them depending upon whether you’re VFR or IFR. For instance, Class A airspace begins at 18,000 ft above Mean Sea Level (MSL), ends at 60,000 ft and covers the entire USA. You need to be an IFR pilot, your plane must have two way communication and it’s for larger airplanes such as airlines. Class A is at the very top, and then below that is Class B which exists around the busiest airports and extends from the surface to 10,000 ft MSL and in some cases above that also. Further, you must seek permission to enter it when approaching an airport, your plane must have radio communication, a transponder, you must either be a private pilot or a student pilot with instructor endorsement to enter this airspace. Now I don’t want to repeat the entire lecture I attended, but Airspace is a very important aspect of flying and its importance and its rules cannot be underestimated to ensure safe flying. To get some idea of air traffic over the US in just one day, please see the YouTube video below:

Is it any wonder with that amount of air traffic in just one day, that one would have to fly according to rules to prevent accidents? Now take a look at this video of air traffic worldwide; by the way there’s no commentary on this video.

Does any one want to be an Air Traffic Controller? 😀


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