CHAPTER 8. The National Airspace System

Terminal Radar Service Areas (TRSA)

Terminal Radar Service Areas (TRSA) are areas where participating pilots can receive additional radar services. The purpose of the service is to provide separation between all IFR operations and participating VFR aircraft.;

The primary airport(s) within the TRSA become(s) Class D airspace. The remaining portion of the TRSA overlies other controlled airspace, which is normally Class E airspace beginning at 700 or 1,200 feet and established to transition to/ from the en route terminal environment. TRSAs are depicted on VFR sectional charts and terminal area charts with a solid black line and altitudes for each segment. The Class D portion is charted with a blue segmented line. Participation in TRSA services is voluntary; however, pilots operating under VFR are encouraged to contact the radar approach control and take advantage of TRSA service. Operations inside the TFR area must be conducted under the provisions of a waiver. Should such an operation be contemplated, the WSC aircraft pilot should consult with the local Flight Service District Offi ce (FSDO) well in advance of the event.

National Security Areas (NSAs)

NSAs consist of airspace with defi ned vertical and lateral dimensions established at locations where there is a requirement for increased security and safety of ground facilities. Flight in NSAs may be temporarily prohibited by regulation under the provisions of 14 CFR part 99, and prohibitions are disseminated via NOTAM.

Published VFR Routes

Published VFR routes are for transitioning around, under, or through some complex airspace. Terms such as VFR fl yway, VFR corridor, Class B airspace, VFR transition route, and terminal area VFR route have been applied to such routes. These routes are generally found on VFR terminal area planning charts.

Flight Over Charted U.S. Wildlife Refuges, Parks, and Forest Service Areas

The landing of aircraft is prohibited on lands or waters administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, or U.S. Forest Service without authorization from the respective agency. Exceptions include:

  • When forced to land due to an emergency beyond the control of the operator;
  • At offi cially designated landing sites; or
  • An approved official business of the Federal Government.

Pilots are requested to maintain a minimum altitude of 2,000 feet above the surface of the following: national parks, monuments, seashores, lakeshores, recreation areas, and scenic riverways administered by the National Park Service, National Wildlife Refuges, Big Game Refuges, Game Ranges, and Wildlife Ranges administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and wilderness and primitive areas administered by the U.S. Forest Service.

WSC Operations

WSC prefl ight planning should include a review of the airspace that is fl own. A local fl ight may be close to the fi eld and include only Class G and Class E airspace. Minimum visibility and cloud clearance may be the only requirements to be met. However, a radio to communicate to the airport traffi c and an altimeter to fl y at the proper airport pattern altitude is recommended.

If fl ying to control tower airports or through Class B, C, or D airspace, determine if the WSC meets all of the equipment requirements of that airspace. [Figure 8-5] Also review qualifi cations to determine if the minimum pilot requirements of the airspace are met. If the minimum aircraft and/or pilot requirements of the airspace are not met, then the prefl ight planning should include a course around the airspace. Extra time and fuel is required for the circumnavigation and should be taken into consideration prior to departure.

WSC and Air Traffi c Control

In nontowered airspace, airspace separation from other aircraft is the responsibility of the pilot. Separation from higher speed traffi c may require fl ightpaths different than faster traffi c. For fl ight and communicating with a control tower, the WSC pilot may be asked to expedite or deviate from a traditional course. The WSC pilot must work with ATC in advising of the airspeed and surface wind limitations. Safe operation in controlled airspace requires that the controller understand the performance and limits of the WSC aircraft.

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