The AFTW is redrawing its popular chart depicting practice areas over the PHX area, and your comments will be used to help increase safety over airspace that both commercial jet traffic and training flights currently share. Continue reading
The ad-hoc Phoenix Airspace Users Working Group recently issued some stunning graphics showing just how congested the airspace in and around IWA in the southeastern Phoenix metropolitan area is becoming.
“Pilots operating in the airspace near IWA should be aware of the density of air traffic operations in the area,” writes Phillip D. Thornton, Air Traffic Manager, Phoenix Terminal Radar Approach Control, in a Jan. 18, 2012, Letter to Airmen. The letter becomes effective in 30 days . “Approximately 800 aircraft operations a day transit the airspace depicted above at or below 5,000’ MSL (excluding Phoenix Sky Harbor traffic).”
Download the Letter to Airmen, which contains more graphics indicating the airspace issues. (PDF, requires Adobe Reader.)
Permalink, where you can discuss this: http://aftw.org/wp/2012/01/iwaairspace/
The ATCA aerobatic training area waiver has been renewed for another two years.
The training area, on the west side of the Estrella Mountains, is displayed in the Airport Facility Directory, and has cautions on the sectional and terminal charts for intensive aerobatic activity.
The area is primarily used by the German Air Force for initial flight training that includes high performance maneuvers, spin training, and formation flying.
Frequency 128.92 should be used when in this area. The ATCA flight ops number is (623) 932-1650 for hours of operation.
Download a copy of the Airport Facility Directory description of the training area here. (588 KB PDF, requires the free Adobe Reader.)
In addition to the area being used for live fire munitions training, the airspace is increasingly being used for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) training. The UAVs in this area are not the Predator class type aircraft you may be familiar with but various smaller models used for tactical purposes in remote theatres of operation.
As many of you know, the use of UAVs are increasing in the National Airspace System. R2310 is being scheduled much more than it has been historically in order to support this training.
There have been several events recently in which GA aircraft have encroached on the restricted area, particularly near the launch and recovery area. Recently a UAV operating within R2310 came within several hundred feet of a GA aircraft operating within the restricted area when it was NOTAMed active.
In conversation with the Army representative, it was determined that the launch and recovery area is located at the extreme southwest corner of R2310 north of Florence. Though the UAV is cleared to operate out of sight within the entire Restricted Area as NOTAMed, visual confirmation of R2310 incursions by GA aircraft where observed there. It is important to note that there is no buffer on the airspace and the UAV may operate up to its lateral and vertical limits.
Detailed .pdf and .ppt Graphics are below:
Two USPA drop zones in Arizona have recently experienced an increase in general aviation traffic flying directly over their airports during skydiving operations.
Skydive Arizona, at the Eloy Municipal Airport (E60) and Complete Parachute Solutions, at the Coolidge Municipal Airport (P08) are located southeast of Phoenix and conduct intensive parachute activity.
Both drop zones are depicted with a parachute symbol on the Phoenix Sectional Aeronautical Chart. Pilots are encouraged to monitor the airport radio frequencies and avoid over-flying these airports by five miles.
Let’s safely share the sky!
The popularity of skydiving is increasing. The U.S. Parachute Association is experiencing growth and currently represents some 32,000 skydivers from all 50 states. An estimated three million individual jumps were made in 2009, the safest year since 1961. Skydivers jump at 220 USPA-affiliated drop zones, all of which are located on public-use and private-use airports throughout the United States. Skydivers generally exit between 10,000 and 14,000 feet AGL and deploy their parachutes between 2,000 and 5,000 feet above the ground, above and inside the airport traffic pattern.
The FAA recognizes skydiving as an aeronautical activity, with skydivers enjoying the same rights and responsibilities as other general aviation users. FAR Part 105 – Parachute Operations, contains the operating rules and specifics regarding parachute equipment and packing. ATC is always notified of the locations of parachuting activity and jump pilots are in radio communication with ATC prior to every drop. ATC advises nearby aircraft of the activity and can provide vectors around skydiving if requested. Jump pilots also announce parachute operations on the airport UNICOM/CTAF prior to every drop.
USPA is officially recognized by the FAA as the representative of skydivers in the United States. The USPA Basic Safety Requirements have been established as the cornerstone of a self-policing principle. The BSRs represent the industry standard generally agreed upon as necessary for an adequate level of safety. All USPA-affiliated drop zones have pledged to abide by the FARs, BSRs, ensure all employees and staff are appropriately qualified and trained, hold USPA ratings and/or FAA licenses and certifications commensurate with their duties.
For more information visit the U.S. Parachute Association’s Web site at www.uspa.org