Charles B. Wheeler Kansas City Downtown (MKC)
Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport (MKC) is located just north of downtown Kansas City. It primarily serves the general and corporate aviation communities. In addition to numerous flight schools, locally based aircraft and a busy Medevac operation, Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport is the primary airport for itinerant aircraft in the Kansas City area. The airport consists of two runways 3/21 & 1/19. Numerous hangars and related facilities line the east and west sides of the airport. There are two FBO’s on the airport. One is located on the northwest corner and one on the southeast corner. The city of Kansas City Missouri provides fuel, tie-down and other related services to transient aircraft. View a printable document of the MKC information found on this Web page.
Know Before You Go
- Two RWYS - 3/21 and 1/19.
- Hot Spot 1 – TWY G – Aircraft taxiing on TWY G require specific clearance to cross RWY 3/21. The TWY crosses RWY 3/21 at an oblique angle.
- Hot Spot 2 – TWY D - Aircraft taxiing south on TWY L for RWY 31 have mistakenly turned left at TWY L and taxied onto RWY 01/19 instead of continuing to the right for RWY 31.
- Hot Spot 3 – Hold Short Instructions – Pilots are reminded that when taxing to RWY 01, they must have clearance to cross RWY 03/21.
- Do not exit onto the crossing runway after landing even though it may appear to be a high speed turnoff. A RWY is not to be used as a TWY unless given permission to do so by the TWR.
- Traffic may require expeditious clearing of the RWY and may not be in the direction of the pilot’s parking destination. Follow TWR instructions and clear the RWY as directed.
Below find various MKC-specific information and things to be aware of, as well as general information to inform your preflight planning. This will be reviewed quarterly and updated as needed. This information is to supplement the From the Flight Deck Videos that are produced by the FAA Runway Safety Group. Here you will also find information provided by the local air traffic controllers at the airport where you intend to fly. The information is subject to change. Not for navigation or legal* pre-flight action. Always refer to official pre-flight materials such as, but not limited to, NOTAMs, airport diagrams, VFR charts and airport construction notices for the latest airport-specific details.
MKC Tower Administrative Office
Business Phone 816-329-2880
Open 0800 to 1600 – Monday through Friday
The airspace at MKC is Class D with a 3300’ MSL ceiling. It underlies MCI Class B airspace. (Refer to Sectional Chart)
Class D Airspace Requirements (CFR §91.129 and AIM 3-1-4; 3-2-5):
|Visibility||3 statute miles|
|Distance from Clouds||500 feet below | 1,000 ft above | 2,000 ft horizontal|
|Communications||Establish communications (controller response)|
|Pilot||No special certification required|
- HS 1 On TWY G, holding position markings for RWY 03/21 are unusual due to the angle that TWY G intersects with RWY 03/21.
- HS 2 Aircraft taxiing southbound on TWY L to RWY 03 or RWY 01 should ensure they turn right on TWY D and not enter RWY 01/19 by mistake. Northbound traffic on TWY F and TWY D should ensure they do not miss the turn onto TWY L and enter RWY 01/19 by mistake.
- HS 3 Taxi routes to RWY 01 from the west side of the airfield cross RWY 03. Ensure you hold short of RWY 03 until you are given a clearance to cross.
- Verify proper heading prior to starting takeoff roll on all departures.
- Departing RWY 03 Right Traffic attain traffic pattern altitude prior to turning crosswind.
- Remain below MCI Class B airspace until receiving ATC clearance.
- Do not leave TWR frequency prior to departing MKC airspace unless approved by TWR.
- During landing, do not exit onto the crossing runway even though it may appear to be a high-speed turnoff.
- A RWY is not to be used as a TWY unless given permission to do so by the TWR.
- IF landing RWY 01 do not expect to be issued the right turn onto TWY H unless previously coordinated.
Surface Risk – Movement Area
- TWR has limited visibility of T-Hangar aprons north of TWY D and west of TWY L.
- If ever in doubt about your position or your instructions, ask the TWR.
MKC Tower (TWR) operates continuously.
If TWR is NOTAM’d closed
- The airspace becomes class G.
- Use CTAF 133.3.
- There is no pilot-controlled lighting – lights will be left on.
- For Clearance Delivery (CD) contact Kansas City Approach at 816-329-2710 or 118.40 in the air.
- ASOS will be available at 816-329-2843.
- If you need to conduct a high-speed run-up, contact ground for designated locations.
- RWY 19 @ TWY G & TWY K have run-up areas. Inquire with GC for other available locations if you are unfamiliar.
- Single engine aircraft, parked on the SE side of the airport, are typically assigned RWY 21 at G (intersection) and not full length for departure.
- Aircraft parked on east can expect RWY 21 @ G when departing south. Advise if you need full length on RWY 21 or if you need RWY 19.
- Advise GC if you want or do not want an intersection departure.
- If planning to fly a local scenic tour, advise GC/TWR of intention to do so (with the area that you intend to tour) and not just your initial direction of flight. This gives your controller information that he/she will use for traffic separation.
- If you would like flight following, make your request with CD prior to taxi.
- When landing RWY 01, do not expect to be issued right turn onto TWY H unless previously coordinated.
- Landing RWY 21 maintain Traffic Pattern Altitude until passing north of Missouri River.
- TWR will usually keep pattern traffic on the west side of the airport.
- Advise TWR of requested landing/departure locations.
- If requesting pattern work, expect to be restricted east or west of RWY 1/19.
- If transitioning the airspace, TWR may restrict you east/west of the main RWY or advise your crossover dependent on traffic.
- RWY 01 – EMAS Arresting Gear System
- RWY 19 – EMAS Arresting Gear System
- All RWYs have Displaced Thresholds
- Refer to the airfield diagram and/or airport moving map while stopped and/or prior to taxiing.
- Keep your eyes outside to observe traffic, potential threats and airport signs and markings.
- Ask the controller to repeat instructions and clearances if you are not sure.
- Ask for progressive taxi instructions if you are unfamiliar or have lost situational awareness.
- Taxi your aircraft to the side of the run-up area to allow other aircraft to taxi around you if you are not ready for departure.
- Advise TWR on initial contact (ground or air) if you are a student pilot.
- Using runway and/or taxiway designators to describe your position, and turning on exterior lights will assist the controller in identifying you.
- Acknowledge all ATC instructions and read back all hold short restrictions with your call sign.
- Always make sure that your aircraft is completely behind all hold- short lines.
- Advise GND/TWR if you want an intersection departure and wait for TWR clearance to take off. There may be a delay due to wake turbulence or traffic.
- When using any RWY, verify mag heading and look for the white markings to avoid a wrong surface event.
- Consider backing up a visual approach with an underlying instrument (ILS/LOC/GPS) approach if time and workload allows.
- Remember that you must have a clearance to cross all RWYs, active and not active.
- Reference GPS User Waypoint, or if available, the assigned runway’s instrument approach. If unsure that you are aligned for the assigned runway, announce going around and why.
- Verify proper heading prior to starting takeoff roll on all departures. Consider checking and calling out, Wet compass, runway heading, runway paint/signage for departure runway, and directional gyro shows runway heading.
- Use caution when taxiing smaller aircraft/helicopters in the vicinity of larger aircraft/helicopters. Controllers may use the words rotor wash, jet blast, or prop wash when issuing cautionary advisories. A general rule of thumb is 100 feet behind a jet aircraft.
- Do not taxi on your own without obtaining taxi instructions from ATC.
- Do not cross an active RWY without specific controller permission to cross that RWY.
- Do not use a RWY as a turn-off during landing unless cleared to do so by TWR.
- Do not wait until you are ready for departure to request an IFR clearance. Making your request to clearance delivery or ground control prior to taxiing will allow time for ATC coordination.
- Do not, on departure, leave TWR frequency while still in TWR airspace unless previously approved. (Note: frequency change outside of TWR airspace is at pilot’s discretion.)
- Squawk Transponder Code 7600 if you experience loss of two-way radio capability.
- If you can hear other aircraft but nobody responds to your calls then you should check for proper frequency selection, popped circuit breaker, radio panel setup, or an improperly hooked up intercom.
- Weak batteries in intercoms are often the cause of “radio failure”. Your emergency checklist may come in handy for checking other areas specific to your aircraft.
- If you can’t hear anything on the receiver, check the volume control, squelch, intercom, circuit breaker, or a stuck mike.
- After you have determined the extent of the radio failure, you can determine how to communicate with the ATC.
- Additional information in the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) Chapter 6 - Section 4
- FAR 91.123 (d) states: Each pilot in command who (though not deviating from a rule of this subpart) is given priority by ATC in an emergency and shall submit a detailed report of that emergency within 48 hours to the manager of that ATC facility, if requested by ATC.
- It is extremely rare that a pilot is asked to justify declaring an emergency. In most cases, when a report is needed, it can usually be accomplished with a phone call.
- Additional information is also found in the AIM in Chapter 6 – Emergency Procedures
- Special VFR is primarily intended to offer pilots a way to operate into, out of, and through tower controlled airspace when local weather restricts the visibility or ceiling to below VFR minimums.
- There are times, for instance, when visibility is below three miles due to ground fog or the ceiling is below 1000 feet AGL due to a cold front passage, it may be advantageous to use the Special VFR rules to be able to get to VFR conditions.
- There are rules and conditions that apply to Special VFR and the one that controllers deal with the most often is the requirement that the pilot must request the clearance. We cannot offer it, as we cannot determine your abilities as a pilot and have no wish to talk you into accepting a clearance that may be beyond your experience level.
The basic requirements for Special VFR are:
- The clearance must be requested by the pilot.
- If it is after sunset and before sunrise the pilot requesting the clearance must be IFR rated and the aircraft must be certified for IFR flight.
- A minimum of 1 mile visibility must exist as reported by the tower.
What you may do with a Special VFR clearance:
- You may depart for another destination
- You may transition
- You may enter and land
- You may do touch and go landings
Here are some links to current FAA information.
- Aeronautical Information Services
- Airport Construction
- Airport Diagram
- Chart Supplement
- From the Flight Deck Videos
- Hot Spots
- VFR Charts
Some Advisory Circulars for Reference
- AC 90-66C (faa.gov) Subject: Non-Towered Airport Flight Operations – 6/6/23
- AC 91-73B (faa.gov) Subject: Parts 91 and 135 Single Pilot, Flight School Procedures During Taxi Operations – 7/30/12
- AC 91-92 (faa.gov) Subject: Pilot’s Guide to a Preflight Briefing - 3/15/21
- AC 90-48E (faa.gov) Subject: Pilots’ Role in Collision Avoidance – 10/20/22