Sunday, 11 August 2013

My stomping grounds part 2

Trying to strike a balance between those of you who read this and are familiar with ATC and those of you who don’t have a clue, so forgive me if I miss the mark for any of you.

The main feature of my local airspace is Toronto Pearson’s (CYYZ) Terminal Control area. It looks kind of like an upside down wedding cake, each layer representing a different altitude. Below that altitude you are ok, above it you are in their airspace and jockeying for position with the big boys.

The complication is that CYTZ is in a class C control zone which sits under Pearson’s TCA. Normally a control zone around an airport goes up to 3000ft. City’s stops at 2500ft which is the first “step” on the wedding cake that is Pearson.

Good you should be! No one said this was easy

On my VTA I’ve marked YYZ and YTZ, you can see the dark blue circles which represent the layers of the wedding cake. The inner ring goes from surface to 1700ft, the next to 2500ft then 3500ft. But you can also see that the “rings” aren’t ring shaped! Because there are so many little satellite airports in proximity, even the messed up airspace is messed up!

Ok enough about the big bully that is YYZ, let’s look at YTZ. Zoomed in picture here shows City in orange with its control zone around it. Normally control zones are 10 miles across and circular. This one is neither. That’s because of the green, red and purple zones butting onto City. Respectively Pearson, Downsview and Buttonville. All of these are control zones that require, at the very least, two way communication before you enter them.

To anyone then it becomes very obvious that my only escape from these zones is to the east, that is where our practice area is located and that is where LOCALFLIGHTEAST spends the majority of her flying time!


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