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San Francisco Class B airspace redesign takes effect Aug. 16San Francisco Class B airspace redesign takes effect Aug. 16

The redesign of San Francisco’s Class B airspace will take effect Aug. 16 in a more compact configuration, with new VFR flyways and transition routes, and with VFR waypoints added outside to help circumnavigating pilots remain clear.

Graphic depicting new Class B shown in blue overlaid on existing Class B shown in yellow with Mode C Veil shown in red.

AOPA urges pilots operating under VFR in the area to acquire the new editions of the area’s sectional aeronautical chart and terminal area chart that take effect Aug. 16 and review then carefully before flight.

The Aug. 16 edition of the San Francisco VFR Terminal Area Chart clearly depicts the VFR flyways and transition routes—for which air traffic control clearance is required before use, as noted on the chart. VFR waypoints (illustrated by the example waypoint VPXYZ in the terminal area chart legend) are also provided to help pilots navigating outside the Class B airspace avoid an incursion.

The new design reflects the FAA’s effort to contain arrivals and departures at San Francisco International Airport without consuming excess airspace for the Class B airspace area. AOPA served on the San Francisco Class B Ad Hoc Committee created in 2015 to provide recommendations from aviation stakeholders for the airspace redesign and is pleased with many aspects of the new layout, said Rune Duke, AOPA senior director of airspace, air traffic, and aviation security.

AOPA also provided independent suggestions that led to such modifications as the lifting of the Class B floor from the proposed 2,100 feet msl to 2,300 feet msl in the vicinity of San Carlos Airport, and increasing a Class B segment’s floor from 1,400 feet msl to 1,500 feet msl to help pilots making a right crosswind departure from Runway 30 at San Carlos avoid an inadvertent Class B penetration and retain a better margin of safety during overwater flight while transitioning to the en route phase.

Topics: Advocacy, Airspace Redesign

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