Each time a pilot operates an airplane, the flight normally begins and ends at an airport. An airport may be a small sod field or a large complex utilized by air carriers. In this chapter we will discuss airport operations and identify features of an airport complex, as well as provide information on operating on or in the vicinity of an airport.


 There are two types of airports.
• Controlled Airport
• Uncontrolled Airport

Controlled Airport

 A controlled airport has an operating control tower. Air traffic control (ATC) is responsible for providing for the safe, orderly, and expeditious flow of air traffic at airports where the type of operations and/or volume of traffic requires such a service. Pilots operating from a controlled airport are required to maintain two-way radio communication with air traffic controllers, and to acknowledge and comply with their instructions.

 Pilots must advise ATC if they cannot comply with the instructions issued and request amended instructions. A pilot may deviate from an air traffic instruction in an emergency, but must advise air traffic of the deviation as soon as possible.

Uncontrolled Airport

 An uncontrolled airport does not have an operating control tower. Two-way radio communications are not required, although it is a good operating practice for pilots to transmit their intentions on the specified frequency for the benefit of other traffic in the area. Figure 6-1 lists recommended communication procedures. More information on radio communications will be discussed later in this chapter.