SoCal Metroplex: The Largest & Most Recent Airspace Change
Q: What is the Southern California Metroplex Project?
A: The Southern California Metroplex Project is a comprehensive proposal to improve the flow of air traffic
into and out of Southern California by making the airspace safer and more efficient. The project proposes
to replace dozens of existing conventional air traffic procedures with new satellite-based procedures,
which are a key component of the FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). Metroplex
initiatives are completed, under way, or planned in more than a dozen metropolitan areas across the
Q: How many new procedures does it include?
A: In all, the Southern California Metroplex Project includes 99 new satellite-based procedures. The new
procedures consist of 41 departure procedures, 37 terminal arrival procedures, which guide aircraft down
until they’re very close to their destination airports, and 21 runway approach procedures. The project also
includes revisions to nine satellite-based procedures that were already in place, as well as revised or
maintained conventional arrival and departure procedures that were already in place. Although most
commercial aircraft are equipped to use satellite-based procedures, some are not. Therefore, some conventional
procedures will be retained to accommodate aircraft not equipped to use satellite-based procedures. Additionally, the project expands the number of entry and exit points into and out of the Southern California airspace, which is like creating more efficient on-and off-ramps on a highway.