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Guidelines to help pilots navigate busy Phoenix airspace

Tips and recommended procedures for navigating the busy airspace near Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport could help obviate the need for Class C airspace over the airport.

The result of cooperation with airspace users, a letter to airmen issued Jan. 18 encourages pilots to avoid flight training maneuvers in an area just east of the field and provides visual cues to help them transit, arrive, or depart the area. By following the guidelines, pilots can help resolve conflicts before they reach a level that would warrant a higher class of airspace to control traffic.

“AOPA encourages members to read, understand, and follow the recommendations in the letter to airmen,” said AOPA Manager of Airspace and Modernization Tom Kramer. “Phoenix airspace is extremely congested and compressed by surrounding terrain, so pilots should take advantage of these valuable resources developed using local pilot input.”

Kramer said the involvement of airspace users in the FAA’s airspace modification process helped address safety concerns without the need for regulatory changes; AOPA joined other airspace users in an ad hoc work group that reviewed activity and safety in the airspace and recommended strategies for mitigating safety and operational concerns.

The letter to airmen notes that air traffic volume and complexity near Chandler, Ariz.—including over Phoenix-Mesa—has increased over the last several years. Traffic includes large turbine aircraft, general aviation flight training, and aerobatic flights. Graphics in the letter to airmen depict high-traffic areas, types of traffic, and areas to avoid on training flights.

Topics: Advocacy, Airspace, ATC

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