Proposed Airspace change for Wasilla Airport.

CITY OF WASILLA


Public Works Department290
East Heming Avenue· Wasilla· Alaska • 99654·7091
• Telephone 907·373·9010 • Fax 907·373·9011 •


May 2,2011

Subject: Modifications to Wasilla Airport Class E Airspace



The City of Wasilla is working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to modify the Wasilla

Airport's airspace from an uncontrolled, Class G airspace to a controlled, Class E airspace. Currently,

the airport, is located beneath a Class E airspace that extends from 18,000 feet above mean sea level

(MSL) to 700 feet above ground level (AGL). The proposed change would lower the base of the Class

E airspace to the surface.

The changes to Wasilla Airport's airspace are necessary for a number of reasons. With the increase in
growth to the City of Wasilla, greater demand and services are expected at the airport. To better
accommodate the needs of the airport, the City is planning to establish a precision approach (LPV or

ILS). Also, the many airfields around the Wasilla Airport have overlapping trafFic patterns and no

requirements for communication within the Class G airspace makes safe travel for IFR traffic difficult

below 700 feet AGL.

Establishing a Class E airspace to the surface at Wasilla Airport will allow for lower approach visibility
minima and decision altitude when the precision approach is established. Also. the new airspace will
require pilots wanting to enter the Class E airspace to establish communications with air traffic control
before entering the airspace during instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). A Class E airspace will
provide for a safer environment for aircraft operating under instrument flight rules (I FR) but is not
expected to greatly affect aircraft operating under visual flight rules (VFR).

The biggest affect of the airspace change to VFR traffic will be an increase in the visibility minimums
and cloud clearance requirements. This change will affect airfields within a 5-mile radius of the Wasilla
Airport, requiring pilots to adhere to the visibility, aircraft equipment, and pilot certification/training
requirements associated with Class E airspace. Figure 1 illustrates the airfields which are expected to
be affected by this change.



May 2,2011

Page 2of4


The current Class G weather minimums and requirements for non-commercial powered civil operations
are as follows:

• Day VFR

o Visibility and cloud clearance. Not lower than 1 Statute Mile (SM) visibility and clear of
clouds.
o Equipment (Part 91.205(b))
• Airspeed Indicator
• Altimeter
• Magnetic direction indicator
• Tachometer
  Oil pressure gauge
• Oil temperature gauge for each
• Fuel gauge indicating the quantity of fuel in each tank.
• Landing gear position indicator, if the aircraft has a retractable land gear.
• For small civil airplanes certificated after 1996, and approved aviation red or
aviation white anti-collision light system.
• An approved safety belt with a metal-to-metal latching device for each occupant
2 years of age and older.
• For small civil airplanes manufactured after 1978, an approved shoulder harness
for each front seat.
• An emergency locator transmitter.


o Pilot Certification. No specific certification is required under Class G.

• Night VFR

o Visibility and Cloud Clearance. (1) Not lower than 3-SM visibility, (2) a cloud separation
of 500 feet below, or 1,000 feet above and 2000 feet horizontally.
o Equipment (Part 91.205 (c). In addition to the required equipment for Day VFR the
following equipment is required:
• Approved position lights
An approved aviation red or aviation white anti-collision system.
• An adequate source of electrical energy for all installed electrical and radio
equipment.
• One spare set of fuses, or three spare fuses of each king required, that are
accessible.




o Pilot Certification. No specific certification is required under Class G at night


The above requirements will also be required for a Class E, surface area controlled airspace for noncommercial
powered civil airplanes but with the following differences:

• Day VFR

o Visibility and cloud clearance. Not lower than (1) 3-SM visibility, (2) a cloud separation of
500 feet below, 1,000 feet above, and 2,000 feet horizontally.
o Special VFR weather. For pilots not certified or current for IFR operations, a special VFR
clearance will be required when (1) the visibilities are between 1-SM and 3-SM, or (2)
when the cloud layers are below 1,000 feet 0, when the cloud separation described
above can't be maintained.
o Equipment. All equipment currently applies.
• There is no additional equipment requirements for Class E when minimums are
above 3-SM and cloud separation is maintained as defined above.
• Under a Special VFR clearance, two-way communications needs to be
established, which will require some type of radio(s) (transmitter/receiver) to the
ground facilities.




o Pilot Certification. No specific certification is required under Class E.
o Pilot Certification for Special VFR. No specific certification is required for a special VFR
in Class E.


• Night VFR

o Visibility and cloud clearance. Same as Day VFR.
o Special VFR weather. Same as Day VFR.



May 2,2011

Page 4of4

o Equipment. All equipment currently required applies.

• When weather conditions are above the minimums of (1) 3-SM and (2) a cloud

;"'1', separe1:iwl of 500 feet below, 1,000 feet above, and 2,000 feet horizontally, there
are now additional requirements.

• Under a Special VFR at night in addition to a two-way communications, the
aircraft must meet the IFR equipment requirements. The following will be
required in addition to the VFR requirements:

• Generator or alternator
• Radios appropriate to facilities
• Altimeter
• Ball inclinometer
e Clock
• Attitude indicator
• Rate of turn indicator
• Directional gyro


o Pilot Certification. No specific certification is required under Class E at night.
o Pilot Certification for Special VFR. Pilot must have an IFR rating and meet the currency
requirements for a special VFR at night.


The final determination of whether a controlled airspace will be required or not at Wasilla Airport will
need to be evaluated by the FAA's Air Traffic Organization (ATO). If you have any questions, please
do not hesitate to contact me at (907) 373-9018 or at agiddings@cLwasilla.ak.us.

Archie Giddings, P.E.
Public Works Director