25 NM jurisdiction rule (without Approach)?

Got my first ever Level 3 violation in six years of using IF…sigh.

I was in a fighter, approaching KEYW at high speed (about Mach 1.8), and decelerating and slowly descending (from 10,000 feet) over the water, making sure that I was outside of controlled airspace, not talking to any ATC. (KEYW, and the neighbouring airport KNQX are both Class D, with KEYW being controlled by Tower).

Realised I wasn’t gonna be slow or low enough for the approach. So, outside of the designated airspace boundaries, (but within 25 NM), when I was at 770 KIAS (about Mach 1) and about 7500 feet, I wanted to make a turn back to the north to remain clear of controlled airspace and do some S-turns or 360º turns to slow down and resume the approach after.

But was reported before I could do that. Oh well.

Appealed it and was told that within 25 NM and below 10,000 feet is Tower airspace.

My question is - could anyone link me to the manual or user guide or any other place where this 25 NM rule is? I can’t seem to find it. As far as I was aware, and from what I read in both the user guide and the IFATC manual, the lateral jurisdiction of Tower ends at the outermost ‘ring,’ in US airspace, without an approach controller present.

I’m not trying to contest the violation here. I got it, it’s fine, and it happens to the best of us. I just want to learn more. Would appreciate any help!

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To be honest the ATC manual seems to point to different values from what I am seeing (5000ft AAL and most immediate ring around the airport), but I am definitely not sure about that:

If unsure if you can get an appeal, please feel free to send a PM to @appeals :)

Do you know who the controller was?

Already did that.

This is what I was told, and that the report was justified.


Ok, I understood you just PMed the Controller. I am aware of the 25NM rule, but can’t happen to find it either, sorry about that!

Already PM’d them and Appeals, and they said that it wouldn’t be reversed. I just want to know where the rule is (and any similar rules that I need to look up).

To quote them:

In the future when within the following parameters of an active airspace (controlled field) please ensure you’re at a speed no greater than 350kts,

Tower - 25nm & at/below 10,000ft
Approach - 50nm & at/below 18,000ft

Problem is, I was never aware of this rule, even after going through the user guide with a fine toothed comb. I just want to make sure there are no other speed or airspace restrictions I’m missing out on.

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Section 5.1 covers airspace boundaries, and Section 5.2 covers on-guard procedures.



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A general rule of thumb to go by is 350 or less under 10000ft, and in Radar’s airspace, nothing over Mach 1.0. Once you clear FL600 you’re clear to do anything you want. Mach 1.8 is definitely rather excessive.

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They just PM’d me and had my violation removed, saying that the depicted airspace boundaries are correct, for Tower jurisdiction.

The 25 NM rule used to be in force before accurate airspace depictions were a thing. (And back when I hadn’t read the user guide…lol).

And reminded me that even though it’s technically ‘legal’ it’s not exactly the right or realistic thing to do. Which is very good advice. I agree, I totally miscalculated the amount of time it takes to slow that damned fighter down. That was on me.

Thank you everyone, for your help. This can be closed.