Airspace Explained (the NAS)

Airspace Explained

The United States National Airspace System (NAS) is the most developed, complex and safest 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.

Click HERE for FAA's "This is NextGen"


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, ensuring safe flight for both general and commercial aviation, is an essential building block for every pilot.

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


"Straight Talk about Airspace Modernization"

Recently updated from a prior NextGen explanation, this content has been renamed to "Straight Talk about Airspace Modernization." Prepared by Duncan Aviation, an aviation equipment vendor/installer as public service (and marketing tool), this .pdf file is written a straightforward style without commercial messages and full of the terms and details you can profit from knowing about.  2/06/2022 Download your most up-to-date copy now by clicking on the line below:

Straight Talk about Airspace Modernization


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 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


The National Airspace System Status

Here you can find information regarding:

Advisories, Airport Demand, EDCT, NOTAMS, Reroutes, restrictions, RVR, &b Weather

Just Click HERE.


Notice to Air Missions (NOTAMs) for Airport Operators - AC No: 150/5200-28G  [05/25/2022]

Purpose:  This Advisory Circular (AC) contains the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) standards and guidance for airport operators on the issuance of Notice to Air Missions
(NOTAM). This AC provides guidance on using the NOTAM system for airport condition reporting and procedures used to describe, format, and disseminate information on unanticipated or temporary changes to components of, or hazards in, the National Airspace System (NAS). The NOTAM system is not intended to be used to advertise data already published or charted.

Applicability:  The FAA standards and guidance in this AC is provided for airport operators, or their agents, who monitor and manage the day-to-day operation of the airport and who may also have operational responsibility for certain airport-related facilities. The audience for this AC is any office responsible for originating airport related NOTAMs. The
standards and guidance in this AC are not legally binding in their own right and will not be relied upon by the FAA as a separate basis for affirmative enforcement action or
other administrative penalty. Conformity with this AC is voluntary only and nonconformity will not affect rights and obligations under existing statutes and regulations, except as follows:
1. Use of the standards and guidance in this AC is mandatory for airports that receive funding under Federal grant assurance programs, including the Airport
Improvement Program (AIP). See Grant Assurance #34.

2. Use of the standards and guidance in this AC is mandatory for projects funded by the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) program. See PFC Assurance #9.5/25/2022 AC 150/5200-28G ii

3. This AC provides an acceptable means of meeting the requirements of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 139, including § 139.339, Airport Condition Reporting.



AC 150-5200-28G-NOTAMs-2022


NASR—The FAA's System for Managing Aeronautical Information

Abstract (From ASCE Library)

The National Airspace System Resource (NASR) System provides the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with the means for storing and maintaining a reference database with descriptive details of the National Airspace System's (NAS's) infrastructure and the operational status of all components. NASR, completed in January 1999 and declared operational in March 1999, assures the FAA of current and accurate information available on the framework upon which Air Traffic Control and other FAA activities are overlaid. NASR supports the management of NAS data used by the FAA, chart producers, military and other Government entities to produce a variety of aeronautical publications. In addition, NASR data is accessed by commercial air carriers, flight planners, and flight systems developers as required by FAA regulation to support the safety-of-flight mission. NASR is a client-server system employing a graphical user interface (GUI) for aeronautical information specialists (AIS) accessing NAS data. The primary requirements were that it be a reliable and maintainable system with simplified access to NAS data. The database includes over 1,500 data elements in over 350 tables, and provides access to the data by virtue of four temporally-different views; the analysts use over 400 user forms to access and manage NASR's data contents. Looking towards the future, interfaces with data sources and those systems dependent upon NASR information are being automated. It is planned that users will have access to an external website holding a copy of the latest database contents updated on a daily basis.

NASR 28-Day Subscriber Files - CLICK BELOW for SAFETY ALERTS: