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Define Airport, Small Local Fields & Strips

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by gword256, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. gword256

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    Location:
    Springfield, USA
    I live in an area with a lot of small grass strips and where each town seems to have their own paved strip. FAA wants us to stay 5 miles away from an airport.

    None of the local strips even make Class D airspace and do not have a tower but some have a Class E airspace ring on the FAA sectionals.

    How do you deal with these situations?
     
  2. dmagnus

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    Location:
    45.141598 -92.631683 Somewhere on the Apple River
    I live 4.5 nautical miles from a regional airport - one paved, one grass runway, seaplane base, etc. There are numerous bizjets on the field and at least one or two jet arrivals/departures daily. I am not on any of the approach paths, but I am pretty close to the route that EMS helis use. Those guys go fast and low. I know the airport manager and have told him that I fly quads on my property and of the adjacent property with a grass strip (in my avatar) that I used to fly homebuilts off of.
    I used to fly a business airplane out of that airport and still have friends who occasionally land on our little strip. He has no problem with my quad as long as I don't interfere with traffic. I told him I rarely fly over 250-300 feet and really have no desire to go higher than 400. So we're all good.
     
  3. Suwaneeguy

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    For private grass strips, don't worry about it.
    Private strips, grass or paved, are just that. They are generally intended for the use of the property owner. Who has no known flight schedule.
    Other larger strips marked as private may be used by others, but for our purposes, nothing to worry about.
    Your main concern is an airport which sees regularly scheduled commercial airliners.
    If a small airport only has a few flights a day, and is "open" during the day time, forget about it.

    The FAA mainly restricts those airports with 24 hour radar and flight schedules.
    I live within 5 miles of a regional airport and have never had an issue with the bird telling me I can't fly here.
    Hell, I've flown right beside the airport using ground station with no warnings.

    If you're that worried, go talk to the people at that airport and ask them what they want you to do.
     
  4. johnp44

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    This info is right from the FAA describing airfields:

    • 5 nautical miles (NM) from an airport having an operational control tower; or
    • 3 NM from an airport with a published instrument flight procedure, but not an operational tower; or
    • 2 NM from an airport without a published instrument flight procedure or an operational tower; or
    • 2 NM from a heliport with a published instrument flight procedure
    Am I correct to assume they are saying 2 NM for grass airfields?
     
  5. FlyBoyNC

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    Location:
    North Carolina
    Did anyone ever answer you? Is this correct?
     
  6. lomax

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    Location:
    Westminster Colorado
    I guess my question is 5 miles from WHERE? If it is from the tower then I am legal in my back yard but if it is from the outer edge of the property then I am not. :(

    I think I will fly every evening for about 5 minutes and call the tower every time I do. I am sure they will not get tired of hearing from me. :D JK: I don't fly in the back yard anyway.
     
  7. Mark The Droner

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    I believe it's from the outer edge but have no documentation on that.

    If you're within five miles, you can also make an arrangement with the airport tower and then you don't have to call them every flight. For example you might say "I'll fly <here> at random times and always stay below 100 ft unless I call you." And if they approve of that, you won't have to call them every flight.
     
  8. johnp44

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    No definitive answer, but if life has taught me nothing else, I wouldn't assume that it doesn't include grass fields.

    2 NM from an airport without a published instrument flight procedure or an operational tower.

    The question is this, is an airstrip the same as an airport?
     
  9. DAP-UAV

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    Airfields on aviation maps have a marker in the center. That's where the measurement is from, 5 miles from the center out. Also you are obligated to notify the local airport when flying closer, not ask permission. The local airport can not tell you no you can not fly. But if you are flying within their airspace on approach or departure, or exceed the limitations already in place, expect a visit from the FAA. We are not calling to ask permission, we are calling to let them know we are here.
     
  10. Matthewd5

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    Find a local pilot supply shop, purchase a Sectional for your area, that is what they call a map for flying, it shows all airports and has a legend showing ones with towers, without towers and private ones...
    I've got no idea how they treat private ones, but they are depicted on the sectionals
     
  11. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
    Staff Member

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    The distance is measured from a defined and specific point on the airport grounds not the edge of it. I don't any charts in front of me but I think it's a specific symbol on the charts.
     
  12. SanCap

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  13. turbulence

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  14. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    My understanding (from a retired FAA guy) is that the airports you must be concerned with are the ones published in the Airport Facility Directory.

    Also when you are determining distance you'll want to use the Airport Reference Point also listed in the directory above. Anything else is guessing at best.
     
  15. RadRich

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    In my area, there's an airport south east of a former Air Force base, now commercial airport, that isn't listed in the no fly zone. This airport is large enough that it used to host air shows (Thundersbirds and Blue Angels made several appearances there). I've also noticed that the no fly areas are much smaller in the Go app .

    2015-12-22_9-50-02.jpg
     
  16. Matthewd5

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    There is a nice app that I found called drone buddy, it includes weather conditions as well as no fly zones

    I'm not affiliated with the app, I'm just happy I found it

    Matthew