General aviation VFR pilots must have access to airspace around metropolitan areas - it's not just reserved for the airlines - and AOPA is fighting to make sure Minneapolis-area pilots will be able to continue to fly from point A to point B without the hassle of complex clearances once Minneapolis-St. Paul International's (MSP's) Class B airspace expands in February.
"The Minneapolis Class B airspace currently has no VFR flyways for pilots, but at the request of AOPA, the FAA has promised that it will create them," said Heidi Williams, AOPA director of air traffic services. "We are going to hold the FAA's feet to the fire to make sure they create flyways so that, for example, a pilot can efficiently fly from Flying Cloud on the western side of the airspace to St. Paul-Downtown on the eastern side."
The FAA announced Monday that it will expand the lateral limits of MSP's Class B airspace and raise the ceiling from 8,000 feet msl to 10,000 feet msl to contain procedures to and from the airport's new runway.
"AOPA is extremely frustrated that despite our objections the FAA decided to raise the ceiling of the airspace, and we are going to make sure the airspace needs of Minneapolis-area pilots are met," Williams said. "Right now, that means getting VFR flyways implemented."
December 1, 2005