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11 Answers

Towered airport that is in uncontrolled airspace?

Asked by: 3260 views , ,
Airspace

KLCQ. Is it a misprint on the sectional?

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11 Answers



  1. John D Collins on Nov 27, 2014

    No. It is a tower without a class D airspace designation. There are a few of these in the US airspace. They don’t have sufficient traffic to warrant a class D designation, The airspace is class G to 700 AGL. See 91.126(d) for operational rules at or near one of these towers.

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  2. Kris Kortokrax on Nov 27, 2014

    Class D airspace is not missing because of a lack of traffic. It is missing because there is no certified weather observer. Notice that there is no ATIS. There is only an AWOS.

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  3. Mark Kolber on Nov 27, 2014

    AIM: “ATIS is the continuous broadcast of recorded noncontrol information in selected high activity terminal areas. Its purpose is to improve controller effectiveness and to relieve frequency congestion by automating the repetitive transmission of essential but routine information”

    FAA Order 2400.2J: “17-2-10. WEATHER OBSERVATIONS AND REPORTING (for Class D airspace)
    a. Weather observations must be taken at the primary airport during the times and dates the Class D airspace is active. A federally certified weather observer or a federally commissioned automated weather observing system (this includes all FAA and NWS approved and certified weather reporting systems) can take the weather observation.”

    For an example of a Class D airport with AWOS and no ATIS, see KLEE in Florida,

    Kris, do you have something to suggest ATIS is anything more than a simple controller time-saver; that using an AWOS is not sufficient for Class D airspace purposes?

    I think John is correct.

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  4. Drew on Nov 27, 2014

    91.126(d) pretty much requires class D entry conditions; the only difference is VFR vis/cc limits. I feel like the special designation is unnecessary and FAA is just over-complicating it for GA pilots, who will most likely be the primary users of that airport. Does knowing that there is little traffic in an airport really affect some pilots that much to require this?

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  5. John D Collins on Nov 27, 2014

    Drew,

    91.126(d) was added to the regulation because some pilots were not communicating with towers at airports outside of class D. There are a few towers that are located at class G airports on a permanent basis, but there are many instances of fly-ins where a temporary tower is established by a NOTAM. This rule change covers both cases.

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  6. Kris Kortokrax on Nov 27, 2014

    Mark,

    Mea culpa, I violated my own advice by posting something without backing it up with a reference, but I was in a hurry to leave this morning for turkey.

    7400.2J allows a “federally commissioned automated weather observing system” to substitute for the weather observer.

    Order 8260.19F paragraph 8-6-6-f states:

    Non-Federal AWOS, i.e., not sponsored by the FAA, are classified into seven types:
    (a) AWOS-A.
    (b) AWOS-1.
    (c) AWOS-2.
    (d) AWOS-3.
    (e) AWOS-3P.
    (f) AWOS-3PT.
    (g) AWOS-3T.

    ASOS is a National Weather Service sponsored automatic observation program designed to replace human observers.

    To me, this means that the AWOS-3 at LCQ cannot substitute for the weather observer for the purposes of establishing Class D airspace.

    Leesburg (LEE) has an ASOS, not an AWOS.

    If we were to believe that Class D does not exist at LCQ because of a lack of traffic, how did they get the tower? Where would be the dividing line between having enough traffic to warrant a control tower, but not enough traffic for Class D airspace?

    I’m going to stick by my assertion that Class D does not exist at LCQ because there is no certified weather observer (or acceptable automatic alternative), until I see something to the contrary. Order 7400.2J contains no traffic criteria for establishing Class D airspace.

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  7. Best Answer


    Kris Kortokrax on Nov 28, 2014

    I called the tower this morning and spoke with a controller there.

    He stated that there is no Class D airspace because they don’t meet the weather requirement.

    He also stated that the tower is not there because of traffic volume. It is there to support a maintenance facility that services JetBlue and United. The tower is owned and operated by the city.

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  8. Drew on Nov 28, 2014

    Ah, I forgot I could have called the airport manager/tower. Thanks for going the extra mile, Kris.

    So, the answer is both due to weather reporting and traffic volume. Does that mean there actually isn’t an ATC tower that provides services to GA? Or that there is a tower, but it’s just managed by the city?

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  9. Drew on Nov 28, 2014

    Ah, just re-read that. I see it’s only because of the lack of an appropriate weather reporting station.

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  10. Kris Kortokrax on Nov 28, 2014

    The tower, when open, provides services to all traffic. It is owned and operated (paid for) by the city. It must still be staffed with people who have an Air Traffic Control Tower Operator certificate issued under Part 65 of the regulations.

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  11. Mark Kolber on Nov 28, 2014

    Thanks Kris. That was a terrific follow-up.

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