The Southern California Airspace Users Working Group - SCAUWG - Wants your COMMENTS and IDEAS!
As aviators and aviation enthusiasts that utilize the Southern California Airspace you probably have concerns. You probably have formulated some ideas that might make the airspace safer, or possibly some ideas about how best to navigate the area. Perhaps you have a suggestion regarding how charting the airspace can be improved?
SCAUWG has traditionally tried to be the eyes and ears of the So Cal airspace professional. SCAUWG is tasked with providing insight to the FAA regarding airspace safety improvements and SCAUWG is additionally tasked to act as a source of educational content meant to aid the aerospace community so that flight safety can be enhanced.
We at SCAUWG believe that the LA Basin airspace may be as complex, indeed probably more complex as any in the world. Visitors arrive here from all corners of the globe. Reminding ourselves that there is little in this busy space that remains static is important. Ever changing technology and diverse methods of flight are just some of the ingredients that make our airspace truly dynamic. Even the current health concerns we share influence the NAS.
It would probably be easy to rest upon our laurels. But that is not enough! Great results happen when great minds collaborate, and we desire Great Results!
So, please contribute, please be part of the solution that as airspace professionals we can be proud of. Leave your comments, ideas and suggestions below. There may be a short delay before making submitted comments visible.
PLEASE NOTE: Posts are designed to elicit COMMENT from WEBSITE VISITORS so that same can both inspire a virtual community information exchange, and possibly encourage further discussion amongst SCAUWG members. ALL POSTED REPLYs and COMMENTs should be interpreted as those that REPRESENT THE AUTHOR alone, and NOT SCAUWG, or SCAUWG.ORG.
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What are the latest thoughts on updating the the VFR special flight rules corridor? This is probably one of the more hazardous areas in the entire SoCal area. With ADS-B in place seems things could be simplified and safer. For openers why not use flight following through the area instead of multiple frequency and xponder changes that only help to distract the pilot. Entry to the required N/S altitudes also cause flights to cross through those altitudes just before or after flying the corridor setting up additional hazards.
I agree with your opinion that the LAX SFRA is “probably one of the most hazardous areas in the entire SoCal area”. For me personally, I would rather do pretty much ANY other route over LAX than that route, and I haven’t flown the SFRA in over ten years now. I am an area CFI and airplane owner, and I have occasion to traverse that area quite often. But let me offer you a couple tidbits of information.
First, note that it is not a “corridor” in the true sense of the word. Once upon a time, there was a VFR Corridor over LAX, and you would be in Class E airspace, with Class B above and below, following that route. However, today, this “corridor” is inside the LAX Class B area. It is one of very few occasions in the country where it is okay to be inside Class B airspace without a clearance (one of my favorite questions to ask in airspace lessons and flight reviews). In exchange for that privilege, you are required to follow special rules, and hence the name Special Flight Rules Area.
If you are uncomfortable following these Special Rules, then you have the option of flying along one of the other routes that cross LAX, talking to SoCal TRACON, using a single transponder code, and receiving a clearance to enter the Bravo and Flight Following. This is my preference, and what I do. My favorite route is the Mini Route, but it is often not available recently, due to manning in the LAX Tower.
If we were to implement the suggestions you make, they would have to be mandatory for everybody. And that would then essentially be the same as one of the other published routes.
I hope others will chime in with their better knowledge of the history of the SFRA and why it was created, but I know that there are pilots who prefer not to talk to ATC. In order to accommodate their interests, we have the SFRA.
The main reason I do not like the SFRA is the blatant disregard for the rules, as published. For instance, two of the rules posted are: No turbojets; and, max airspeed of 140KIAS. The first (and only) time I flew the corridor, I was in my 182 at about 130 knots, and was passed by a Cessna Citation like I was standing still. I don’t care to operate in an area like this that is the modern day example of the Wild, Wild, West. This is why I prefer the Coastal Route or Coliseum Route, or even an IFR clearance, depending on where I’m going that day.
Hope this helps,
When I began flying long ago it was a corridor, now I appreciate the difference. I need to learn and use the mini route-if available. Guess I just got habituated on the SFRA.
Reference AC 90-66B – Non-Towered Airport Flight Operations
Please give special attention to safe operations at non-towered airports during flight planning, student through advanced pilot training, Practical Tests, WINGS/Flight Reviews, airmen currency checks; whenever a pilot is being trained and/or evaluated by a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), Designated Pilot Examiner ( DPE ), Chief Pilot, Chief Flight Instructor, Check Airman, etc..
With the safety concerns at non-towered airports (the U.S. has approximately 500 airports with control towers compared to about 20,000 non-towered airports) along with temporarily reduced hours of operation for towers across the country, this is especially timely and will serve safety now and later.
August 11, 2020 – From Lee Unger, Arizona
Hi, Pat, Ron and Mike,
Thank you for another interesting and productive SCAUWG meeting!
Looking at the Chart Supplement for Chino, I think many transient pilots would be lacking in important information about ATCT closed operations.
What do you think about requesting an added note and a link to the Letter to Airmen in the Chart Supplement?
This catches pilots who have not familiarized themselves with LTA’s when checking NOTAMs.
Apologies if I am missing something obvious.
Thank you all for your work on this and so much more. The SCAUWG website is amazing!
For VFR convenience I recommend listing the assorted VPL VFR visual points. I think a listing would be of help to those trying to load a GPS with a VFR plan to manage their way through the LA area.
VPLAC 110 & 101 Fwy Intersection (Chandler ????)
VPLBP Banning Pass
VPLCC Chaffey College, Ontario
VPLCP Cajon Pass
VPLDP Dana Point
VPLDS Dodger Stadium
VPLFX 91 & 605 Fwy Intersection, Near Lgb
VPLGP Griffith Park
VPLHF 110 & 405 Fwy Intersection, Near Blimp
VPLHP Huntington Pier
VPLKH Redondo King Harbor
VPLLC La Coliseum
VPLLM Lake Mathews
VPLLU 10 & 215 Fwy Intersection, Near Sbd
VPLMB Manhattan Beach Pier
VPLMM Magic Mountain
VPLMS Mile Square Park
VPLPD Prado Dam
VPLPP Pacific Palisades
VPLQM Queen Mary
VPLRB Rose Bpwl
VPLRT Santa Anita Race Track
VPLSF San Fernando Reservoir
VPLSR Scenic Route (405 & Hawthorne)
VPLSS Santa Susana Pass
VPLTW Tujunga Wash & Foothill
VPLWT Water Tank In Thousand Oaks