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CLASS D Airspace

Some Class D (Delta) airports can be some of the busiest such as Van Nuys airport just west of Bob Hope (KBUR) in Burbank, CA.

  • These airports have an Air Traffic Control Tower, which makes Class D controlled airspace.

  • Class D is shown by a dashed blue circle on VFR sectional charts. ​

  • The airspace is individually tailored and usually is incorporated with an instrument procedure. These are marked with an arrival extension attached to the dashed blue circle, shown by a dashed magenta box which is Class E (Echo) airspace from the surface.

Airspace Dimensions:

The airspace is from the Surface (SFC) up to 2,500 feet AGL. The altitude of the airspace is shown in MSL (measured sea level) on the VFR sectional charts.

Witham Field Class Delta

If Class Delta airspace lies under Class Charlie or Class Bravo airspace; the Class D published ceiling is part of the airspace above it. For an example, you will see a dash (-) before the ceiling number.

Van Nuys Class D extends but to but does not include 3,000 feet MSL (-30). So, in reality the Van Nuys Class D airspace extends up to 2,999 feet MSL. At Bob Hope airport, the outer shelf of the Class Charlie airspace starts at 3,000 feet MSL. So, if you are flying over Van Nuys airport or even the Whiteman airport (KWHP) at 3,000 feet MSL, you are actually in the Class C airspace of Bob Hope airport.

Entry Requirements:

  • Student pilots with a student certificate are allowed to fly in Class Delta.

  • Establish and maintain 2 way radio communication with ATC is required before entering the airspace.

  • Most Class D airports are NOT open 24 hours.

    • When the ATC tower closes at night the airspace becomes Class E or G airspace.

  • You must hear your aircraft tail number from ATC. If you do not here your tail number from ATC, you CAN NOT enter Class Delta airspace​.

    • If ATC responds back with "RHA123, Standby". You may enter Class Delta airspace, because 2-way communication has been established with ATC.

  • Mode C Transponder

Class D Weather Minimums:

  • 3 SM (Statue Miles) of visibility

  • 152 - 1,000ft above, 500ft below, 2,000ft horizontal from clouds.


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