I’m wandering if there are any airports that’s in class E and also towered airport in USA. I feel like all of towered airport is at least class D. if there are any, please let me know because I want to see it. Thank you!
By definition, a tower needs to be at least class D, so no. Class E specifically refers to all airspace not around a controlled airport.
As I was studying for FAA writer exam and I found this question and says about Class E, and I got confused.
Right. Controlled airports will be blue, uncontrolled magenta
Sweet. Thank you! But like you said, there are no towered airport in class E right?
Correct. D, C, or B only
I guess this question, and answer is wrong then LOL thank you once again!
No, I would describe it as correct. All airports with control towers = controlled. Controlled airports are blue
The key word on the question is underlying. Although there are no towered airports in class echo airspace, there are plenty of towered airports which operate underneath one or more layers of Echo airspace. There are even airports which can be in either Delta or Echo airspace, depending on the time of day
In Canada, we have a few class E airspace’s with a control tower. However, they only operate as an advisory station for pilots to broadcast and receive Feedback from the controller. They do not require clearances from the Controller. Most of the time, they are just old Class C airspaces that downgrade to a Class E.
I wonder if the United States have anything similar?
Not exactly. A large amount of class E airports in the US have UNICOM, but the people on the other end are not controllers per se, and not always in operation.
At uncontrolled airports, it’s mostly traffic advisories and position reports over the CTAF (common traffic advisory frequency) which is pilot-to-pilot announcements.
So here’s a couple of explanations that might help you (or confuse you, but I really hope not!)…
1. Airspace class
As you already know, airspace in the US divided into classes - A, B, C, D, E and G.
But here’s the thing. Airspace class isn’t necessarily defined by whether or not an airport has a control tower. It’s defined by the level of ATC separation and services provided and the visibility and cloud clearance requirements in case of VFR aircraft.
By definition, Class A is a pure-IFR airspace. Class B is where ATC has to provide a certain standard of separation service to both VFR and IFR aircraft (that’s why aircraft need at least a Mode C transponder aka altitude reporting transponder to enter Class B airspace).. For Class C, D and E, the separation service requirements keep getting lower, notably for VFR aircraft, until finally you have Class G, which is like the Wild West where it’s a free-for-all “uncontrolled” airspace.
An important thing to note is that Class E is not uncontrolled. There is still a radar controller watching you. You don’t have to talk to them as a VFR pilot. But IFR services are still provided in Class E airspace.
Okay. So we’ve now established that it’s separation and services that defines airspace class, along with visibility and cloud clearance requirements (for VFR). Now onto airports…
Airports are marked blue on sectional charts if they have a control tower and pink if they don’t. In theory, you could have a blue airport inside a Class E airspace, with a chilled out guy as a controller, sipping a beer, where VFR aircraft contact the controller only if they want to, and he isn’t responsible if there is a midair collision between VFR aircraft in his airspace. But as nice as that sounds, most pilots and the FAA don’t like that idea, so they don’t stock these controllers at airports in Class E or G airspace. Which is why mostly all airports in Class E or G airspace are pink, or uncontrolled. Note that I’m talking about VFR traffic here.
However, if you’re flying IFR, and you want to land at an airport which has Class E from the ground up (dotted pink line airspace), the radar controller aka Approach, must give you radar services all the way to the ground.
One final point. You might have heard or read that airports sometimes have a part time tower in a Class D airspace. This airspace become Class E when the tower shuts down. So that’s another case where you could have an airport that’s depicted as “controlled” (blue) but if you go there too late at night, your calls to the tower will probably be met with silence.
To sum up, airspace is defined by ATC separation services/traffic services, and visibility/cloud clearance requirements. Not the existence of a control tower. Airports that have a tower are depicted in blue and can (in theory) be under any kind of airspace, while airports that don’t have towers are depicted in pink.
PS: if it helps, try practicing referring to an airport as “an airport in class X airspace” rather than calling them a Class X airport. For example, say “KLAX is an airport in Class B airspace” rather than “KLAX is a Class B airport.”
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