Chapter 18. Class E Airspace
Section 1. General
E airspace consists of:
a. The airspace of the United States, including that
airspace overlying the waters within 12 NM of the coast of
the 48 contiguous states and Alaska, extending upward from
14,500 feet MSL up to, but not including 18,000 feet MSL,
and the airspace above FL600, excluding -
1. The Alaska peninsula west of longitude 160°00'00"W.;
2. The airspace below 1,500 feet above the surface of
b. Surface area designated for an airport. When
designated as a surface area for an airport, the airspace
will be configured to contain all instrument procedures to
the extent practicable.
c. Airspace used for transition. Class E airspace areas
extending upward from either 700 or 1,200 feet AGL used to
transition to/from the terminal or en route environment.
d. En Route Domestic Areas. Class E airspace areas that
extend upward from a specified altitude and provide
controlled airspace in those areas where there is a
requirement to provide IFR en route ATC services but the
Federal airway structure is inadequate.
e. Federal Airways. The Federal airways and low altitude
RNAV routes are Class E airspace areas and unless otherwise
specified, extend upward from 1,200 feet to, but not
including, 18,000 feet MSL. The colored airways are green,
red, amber, and blue. The VOR airways are classified as
Domestic, Alaskan, and Hawaiian.
f. Offshore Airspace Areas. Class E airspace areas that
extend upward from a specified altitude to, but not
including, 18,000 feet MSL and are designated as offshore
airspace areas. These areas provide controlled airspace
beyond 12 miles from the coast of the U.S. in those areas
where there is a requirement to provide IFR en route ATC
services and within which the U.S. is applying domestic
18-1-2. CLASS E SURFACE AREAS
a. A Class E surface area is designated to provide
controlled airspace for terminal operations where a control
tower is not in operation. Class E surface areas extend
upward from the surface to a designated altitude; or to the
adjacent or overlaying controlled airspace. Class E airspace
surface areas must meet the criteria in paragraph
17-1-3 of this
b. When a surface area is established to accommodate
part time operations at a Class C or D airspace location,
the surface area will normally be coincident with that
airspace. If the airspace is not coincident, it should be
explained in the rule.
the communication and weather requirements described in
and 17-2-10 are
met, Class E surface airspace may be designated to
a. IFR arrival, departure, holding, and en route
operations not protected by other controlled airspace.
b. Instrument approach procedures. Surface airspace may
be designated to accommodate special instrument procedures
if such action is justified and/or in the public interest.
The following factors are among those that should be
1. Type of procedure including decision height or
minimum descent altitude.
2. The actual use to be made of
the procedure, including whether it is used by a
certificated air carrier or an air taxi/commuter operator
providing service to the general public.
For special instrument procedures, consideration should be
given to availability to other users.
3. The operational and economic advantage offered by the
procedure, including the importance and interest to the
commerce and welfare of the community derived by the
4. Any other factors considered appropriate.