JO 7400.2J
Effective Date:
February 9, 2012

Subject:  Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters
Includes:  Change 3 effective 8/22/13, Change 2 effective 3/7/13, Change 1 effective 7/26/12 and  Errata effective 2/9/12.


Section 2. Class B Airspace Standards

15-2-1. CRITERIA

a. The criteria for considering a given airport as a candidate for a Class B airspace designation must be based on factors that include the volume of aircraft, the number of enplaned passengers, and the type/nature of operations being conducted in the area.

b. For a site to be considered as a new Class B airspace candidate, the following criteria must be met:

1. The primary airport serves at least 5 million passengers enplaned annually;

2. The primary airport has a total airport operations count of 300,000 (of which at least 240,000 are air carriers and air taxi); and

Operation counts are available from the Office of Aviation Policy and Plans, Statistics and Forecast Branch, APO-110. Enplaned passenger counts may be obtained by contacting the Office of Airport Planning and Programming Division, APP-1. Current validated counts are normally available in mid-October of the current year for the previous year.

3. The Class B designation will contribute to the efficiency and safety of operations, and is necessary to correct a current situation or problem that can not be solved without a Class B designation.

The above is the minimum criteria. It should be noted that when the criteria for the establishment of a Class B airspace area is met, it is merely an indication that the facility is a candidate for further study.

c. Although an airport meets the minimum passenger and air traffic operations criteria for a Class B designation, other factors must be considered, such as: would a Class B designation contribute to the efficiency and safety of operations in the area: and is there a current situation or problem that cannot be solved without the designation of Class B airspace.


Class B airspace area locations must include at least one primary airport around which the Class B airspace area is designated.


a. General Design. Simplification of the Class B airspace area configuration is a prime requisite. Its vertical and lateral limits should be standardized and must be designed to contain all instrument procedures within Class B airspace. The number of sub-areas should be kept to a minimum.

b. Lateral Limits. This airspace should be initially designed in a circular configuration centered on the primary airport. Describe the airspace area using NAVAIDs as references where available on the primary airport in the following order of preference: VORTAC, VOR/DME, etc.

1. The outer limits of the airspace must not exceed a 30 NM radius from the primary airport.

2. This 30 NM radius will generally be divided into three concentric circles: an inner 10 NM radius, a middle 20 NM radius, and an outer 30 NM radius.

3. The inner 10 NM radius area may be subdivided based on operational needs, runway alignment, adjacent regulatory airspace, or adjacent airports.

4. The areas between 10 to 20 NM and 20 to 30 NM may be vertically subdivided because of terrain or other regulatory airspace.

c. Vertical Limits. The upper limit of the airspace normally should not exceed 10,000 feet MSL. The inner 10 NM area must normally extend from the surface to the upper limits of the airspace. This segment may be adjusted to coincide with runway alignment, adjacent airports, other regulatory airspace, etc., but must encompass, as a minimum, all final approach fixes and minimum altitudes at the final approach fix. The floor of the area between 10 and 20 NM must be predicated on a 300-foot per NM gradient for 10 NM. This segment will normally have a floor between 2,800 feet and 3,000 feet above airport elevation. This floor must remain constant for that segment, but may be adjusted considering terrain and adjacent regulatory airspace. However, segmentation should be held to an absolute minimum. The floor of the area between 20 and 30 NM must be at an altitude consistent with approach control arrival and departure procedures. It is expected that this floor would normally be between 5,000 and 6,000 feet above airport elevation. In the segment between 20 and 30 NM, exclusions are permitted to accommodate adjacent regulatory airspace and/or terrain.

d. Variations. Any variation from the standard configuration must be addressed in the staff study.

e. Satellite Airports. When establishing the airspace floor, consider the adverse effect on satellite airport operations as well as operations at the primary airport. When airspace directly over a satellite airport is not required, it should be excluded from the Class B airspace. Special published traffic patterns and/or procedures may be required for satellite airports.

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