What are transitions?

Hello, I just wanted to ask you guys, what’s a transition, because I’m still not long into aviation, so I’m just asking. Thanks in advance 😁

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So basically from my understanding, a transition is used when completing pattern work and a plane has to fly over the airport at a minimum set altitude (e.x. 2,500ft) to complete/continue their pattern work. I could totally be wrong though and someone please correct me if I am!

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The lowest level a plane can fly over an airport, they can also enter the pattern from midfield. A rough description


This is incorrect. Transitions are technically unrelated to pattern work.

From the ATC Manual:

“Transitions can be requested by aircraft when they are not with a radar facility and are transiting through the tower controller’s airspace. For Infinite Flight, Tower airspace is defined as the most immediate ring/boundary surrounding the airport and up to 5000ft AAL (therefore if the elevation of the airport is 1000ft, the tower’s airspace would be 1000ft – 6000ft).”

The guide in 3.4.2 gives more information for the required separation.

Basically, if an aircraft wants to fly through the tower’s airspace without intent to land at the airport, they would request a transition.


Thank you! I was really curious about that for a long time and you cleared that up for me! Once again thank you 😁

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When an aircraft passes through towers airspace and given no radar controller is present, they must request transition. The tower controller issues an altitude (ex. Transition approved at or above 2500ft).
This means the aircraft can pass through the towers airspace at or above the said altitude so as to be clear of all traffic and proceed through the airspace

Please let me know if this is wrong.

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Ok thanks! I’ve never really had to deal with transitions, so I had limited knowledge on it. You learn something new everyday!


Thank you everyone for advice, you helped me very much guys! 😁

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