Airspace Explained (the NAS)

Airspace Explained

The United States National Airspace System (NAS) is the most developed, complex and safest airspace system in the world. The NAS Operations Organization is responsible for planning, directing, implementing, overseeing, and continuously monitoring all programs related to air traffic control systems used by the FAA at the Air Traffic Control System Command Center (ATCSCC), located in Warrenton, Virginia, and throughout the United States. Airspace Explained provides a freeway guide to our sky’s airspace classes.
Via the NextGen’s program of modernization efforts, the FAA is creating new interconnected systems that fundamentally change and improve how the National Airspace System (NAS) users see, navigate, and communicate.

But at the most basic grass roots level and beyond, the NAS is experienced by pilots daily as a group of organized air mass locations; and within the boundaries of each location, laterally and vertically, a common set of flight requirements prevail.  Learning how the NAS functions, and understanding the necessary regulations that govern our airspace, insuring safe flight for both general and commercial aviation, is an essential building block for every pilot.

UAS – Drones – Changing the Airspace Environment

The FAA’s vision for fully integrating UAS into the National Airspace System (NAS) entails UAS operating harmoniously, side-by-side with manned aircraft, occupying the same airspace and using many of the same air traffic management systems and procedures. This vision goes beyond the accommodation practices in use today, which largely rely on operational segregation to maintain systemic safety.

Realizing this vision requires collaboration across industry, government, and academia. You can read about some of the FAA’s major partnerships and initiatives including the Drone Advisory Committee, the Focus Area Pathfinder Program, the UAS Detection Initiative, the UAS Operations in the Arctic, the FAA UAS Data Exchange, and the UAS Integration Pilot Program via the appropriate link below that will bring you to the UAS section found on FAA.GOV.

 

The following .pdf file outlines via text and graphics how the NAS classifies airspace, and describes the flight requirements for operations within Class A, B, C, D, E and G airspace as defined by FAA/NAS regulations. To view the .pdf file simply click on the title below:

Airspace Explained SCAUWG

 

The following link will transport you to the UAS section found on FAA.GOV, where via other links, one can access a tremendous amount of pertinent informative UAS data that details how Drone operators can get started, the FAA regulations, and the programs, opportunities, partnerships and  initiatives, that are currently in place.  Simply click on the line below:

The Drone Experience