LA Basin Hot Spots

The Los Angeles Basis represents one of the most complex airspace areas in the world. It is made complex by a combination of factors not found anyplace else in the U.S.; or in the world. The LA Basin is geographically constrained by a ring of mountain that surrounds an airspace region that serves between 13 and 15 million people; one of the largest population centers in the world. The Basin runs northeast to southeast. The mountains that range to 11,000 feet; and nothing to the west but ocean. The region’s year-round good-flying weather has generated one of the largest centers of aviation users in the country – from beginning student pilots and schools to airlines and their highly trained air transport pilots; and including varied range of military operations, air taxi services, commercial operators, emergency, police, fire and other general service aircraft to media reporting and charter services.  SCAUWG has identified 10 major LA Basin HotSpots. 

The ORIGINAL PowerPoint presentation by Al German that features each of the 10 aerial HotSpots can be accessed HERE.

A more recently UPDATED Version by Ron Berinstein in .pdf format is available by clicking Hot Spots SCAUWG version

Richard Eastman's UPDATED PowerPoint Hotspot Version is available by clicking Eastman_LA Basin HotSpots_V2a_2017

PHPA -  Noise Oriented HOT SPOTS

These HotSpots are designed to identify communities, neighborhoods and venues that have an increased level of helicopter-related noise complaints. The HotSpot are not intended to depict geographic “no fly zones”. Rather, this information is intended to alert all aviation-related operators to the increased levels of community awareness to aviation operations within their neighborhoods. This information can then assist operators in implementing mitigation measures, including varying their operations in the vicinity of that HotSpot.

The listings below are current areas that the PHPA has identified as HotSpots as of this publication date: 8/20/2018.

Hollywood-Bowl-HotSpot    The PHPA is continuing our tradition of working with The Hollywood Bowl and The John Anson Ford Theater as we work towards bringing awareness to the issue of noise generated from helicopter overflights during the Los Angeles summer concert season.

LAX-Transition-Route-HotSpot     The PHPA is working with the Southern California Airspace Users Group in addressing noise complaints involving helicopter overflights in the area of the LAX Industrial Transition Route for helicopters.

Van-Nuys-HotSpot      The PHPA is working with the Citizens Advisory Committee of Van Nuys (CAC) and Los Angeles World Airports in addressing helicopter-related noise complaints in the Van Nuys area.

West-Hollywood-HotSpot     The PHPA is working with The City of West Hollywood and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Aero Bureau in addressing noise complaints involving helicopter overflights in the city of West Hollywood.

High Performance over South Bay  (TIME OUT - this section being revised)

In May, 2009, a Cessna 172 with a CFI and student aboard and a Cessna 310 flown by a CFI were involved in a mid-air collision approximately 5 miles south of the Long Beach breakwater -- in the area identified as HotSpot #7 in the SCAUWG presentation created almost a year earlier.   This South Bay area is particularly difficult because the airline traffic departing Long Beach Runway 30 must make a left turn and depart over the South Bay area to avoid conflict with jet traffic departing Los Angeles International.  Concurrently, the South Bay area is a very popular student training area serving Long Beach and three other general aviation airports in that part of the basin.  And a range of 1500' mountains jut out into the Pacific Ocean just north of the bay, forcing traffic flying along the coastline and under the Class B airspace to funnel through the South Bay area.  Renewed focus has been targeted at this area.  Click here to see an 8-slide PowerPoint presentation that addresses the South Bay area specifically; and reflects on some possible outcomes of this problem currently being reviewed by the FAA.  

Burbank Hang Gliders

For nearly 40 years, hang gliders have shared the skies around Burbank Airport with general aviation and air transport aircraft.  Many pilots skirting the perimeter of the LA Basin hug the mountains to the northwest to avoid the Class C and Class B airspaces that get pinched by the mountains in that area.  As a result, there has been an increasing amount of penetration in the glider-marked area marked Mountain Peak area north of San Fernando Valley.  Joe Greblo, a FAASTeam member and active Hang Glider Pilot has created a PowerPoint presentation to better assist powered pilots as they transit that area en rout in or out of the Basin; and particularly Burbank, Van Nuys, and Whiteman airports.  Click here to see this 8-slide PowerPoint presentation.

Perris/Elsinore Parachuting -- Look Out For Falling Bodies

On the eastern perimeter of the LA Basin are two very popular parachuting centers. They are housed on private airports in Paris and Lake Elsinore. The drop zones around these airports are from 4,000' to 15,000'. Parachutes might open as the chutist exits the airplane; or the chutist may free-fall for multiple thousands of feet and only open the chute at 2000'.  Transiting planes looking up have difficulty seeing airplanes 2 miles above them ... and parachutists in free-fall are virtually impossible to see.  And chutists may free-fall for up to 70 seconds before pulling the cord. Harry Leicher, ATP, CFII, and USPA PRO Rated Skydiver put a presentation together to help pilots understand what to expect in and around Drop Zones. Click here to see the 37-slide PowerPoint presentation.

Las Vegas Hot Spot!

Las Vegas has requested help in distributing information relative to ground operations at North Las Vegas Airport (VGT) before the Memorial Day weekend. This is a matter of significant importance as VGT has the highest incidence of runway incursions in the nation. More than 90% of incursions at VGT come from transit pilots and the overwhelming majority are from CA.   Please review the graphic of this VGT hotspot here!