It’s in the best interests of each pilot to be familiar with the airspace and the regulations or limitations associated with every specific airspace. For instance, every airspace class has a specific weather minimum under the visual flight rules. While class A is IFR and not a factor, airspace classes B, C, D & E have their complex rules in regard to visibility and cloud clearance needed,
Pilots put in a lot of hours and work studying the weather minimums and other limitations/regulations associated with the specific airspace classes. This is to guarantee the safety of flights and avoid explaining deviance from the regulation.
For instance, if a pilot accidentally accesses a class B airspace without any explicit clearance for that, they might lose their flying privileges. Flying through the TFR or prohibited space will lead to being intercepted by a military fighter jet; this is not a scenario a civilian pilot will want to experience.
Pros of flying at class C airport (busy and large airports)
- A chance to learn busier airport operations
- Get excellent proficiency in radio communication and highlight the sense of situational awareness while the dynamics of busy airspace get evident.
- Pilots learning in busier airport environments process information faster and work efficiently in the cockpit.
- Learning to fly in a larger airport environment might shape pilots’ preparedness for their professional careers.
Cons of flying at class c airport
- The prevalence of airport delays.
- A long period of time was spent on the ground taxiing throughout the large runways.
- Great possibility for deviating from instructions given by traffic control
- The possibility of being overwhelmed by operating on larger and faster aircraft in a stressful setting, especially for beginners.
Pros of flying at class D & G Airports (less restricted airspace)
- Faster access to the runway environment and few airport delays
- Enough time was spent flying and practicing instead of taxiing or waiting for the take-off clearance behind several arrivals.
- Air traffic control instructions are easy to follow, and the perfectly laid-back setting offers a better space for learning the fundamentals.
Cons of flying class D & G Airport
Pilots that tend to have a restricted experience in larger airport operations have overwhelming anxiety about flying in class D & G airports. They tend to struggle to keep up with the fast pace and have always found themselves in risky situations when ignoring how stressful the area can be. Or they overestimate their skills in handling the task saturation. Basically, one can overcome the challenge by flying to larger airports to get exposure while leveraging the benefits of the small airport’s operations for daily flying.
What you need to know about controlled, special use, and uncontrolled airspace
The broad distinction that any pilot should know about national airspace is the differences between uncontrolled, controlled, and special-use airspace.
- Uncontrolled airspace; This is an airspace class that doesn’t involve ATC (air traffic control) regulations because of practical reasons. Typically, these are places with lower air traffic volume. The majority of aircraft that fly in the uncontrolled airspace class fly under visual flight rules (VFR), while those flying under the instrument flight rules (IFR) do not anticipate reciprocity. In most cases, uncontrolled spaces are categorized as class G.
- Controlled space: this airspace is defined in 3D space where ATC services are offered. This doesn’t mean that ATC will be accessible in controlled airspace since the level of control might vary as per the different airspace classes. Typically, controlled space is found in the airport vicinity due to a higher volume of traffic.
- Flight under IFR and VFR IS allowed in this space. There are six airspace classes in the controlled category, from Class A-E. They are arranged in descending order of the degree of ATC regulations.
- Special use airspace: this is designated to the area for a range of reasons. They have different levels of air traffic regulations. In most cases, the reasons for declaring a place or airspace special use are linked to military activities.