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Florida Cruising Altitudes

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FAA Regulations, General Aviation

Is it true that there is an exception in Florida to the cruising altitude rules of east being odd and west being even? If so, why?

What I've been told is that at some point on a north/south route ATC has you fly odd altitudes if southbound and even altitudes northbound. 



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1 Answers

  1. Mark Kolber on May 06, 2013

    What cruising rules are you talking about? Look at the reg on IFR cruising altitudes; you’ll see the odd-even rule only applies “In uncontrolled airspace.” In controlled airspace the rule is the one “assigned that aircraft by ATC.”

    While it’s also true that the ATC handbook also follows the same concept, there are exceptions:

    When traffic, meteorological conditions, or aircraft operational limitations prevent assignment of altitudes prescribed in para 4-5-2, Flight Direction, assign any cardinal altitude or flight level below FL 410 or any odd cardinal flight level at or above FL 410 without regard to direction of flight… [ATC Handbok §4-5-3]

    In the case of Florida, the shape of the state makes most of its traffic N-S rather than E-W so altitude separation on that basis simply makes more sense.

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