Section 2. Class B Airspace Standards
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.
B airspace area locations must include at least one primary
airport around which the Class B airspace area is
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
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
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
d. Variations. Any variation from
the standard configuration must be addressed in the staff
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.