Class B graphics offer clear view of boundaries

April 4, 2012

Class BPilots can start taking advantage of a more widely available tool for navigating the increasingly congested and complex Class B airspace in areas across the United States.

To help pilots identify the boundaries of the airspace, the FAA is rolling out online Class B enhancement graphics for all Class B areas in the country. The graphics, which had previously been printed directly on aeronautical charts for only a handful of Class B areas, remove the clutter of underlying topographic features and show key details as well as useful reference points. The FAA is offering the graphics in response to industry input.

The graphics depict an outline of the Class B boundaries, the primary airport, the primary navaid, and ceilings and floors. They provide the latitude and longitude or magnetic fixes to navaids that make up the corners of the airspace, as well as the distance of each straight-line boundary segment. The few graphics that already have been available on sectional charts will continue to be printed; the newly produced graphics will only be available online.

“These graphics are a safety enhancement to VFR sectional and terminal area charts by aiding pilots in gaining situational awareness within increasingly congested and complex Class B airspace areas,” said AOPA Manager of Airspace and Modernization Tom Kramer. Many Class B areas around the country have recently been modified.

While enhancement graphics will continue to be printed directly on aeronautical charts, more will be accessible online. Eight are currently available on the FAA website, including the recent additions of Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, and Honolulu. Expect more to follow, Kramer said.