Airspace Description

Class B airspace is controlled airspace. It surrounds the nations busiest airports, in order to provide for the separation of high traffic volumes in these areas.

Each Class B airspace is customized to suit the needs of the terminal area for which it is designed. In general, Class B airspace areas are described as resembling upside down wedding cakes. They typically have an altitude range from the surface to 10,000 feet MSL, extending out 25-30 miles from the primary airport they serve. The lower altitude limit increases in several increments as distance from the primary airport increases, resulting in this inverted wedding cake appearance.

Clearance Requirement

An air traffic control clearance is required to enter Class B airspace. This means the air traffic controller must specifically tell you that "You are cleared to enter the class bravo".

Equipment Requirements

A two way radio is required.

A transponder with operating mode C is required to in order to enter a Class B airspace area. A transponder is a receiver/transmitter on the airplane that communicates with air traffic control radar systems. Mode C allows the air traffic controllers to see an aircraft's altitude. A transponder with operating mode C is also required to operate within 30 nautical miles of a Class B airspace at an altitude of below 10,000 feet MSL.

Student Pilot Limitations

Many Class B airspace areas do not allow student pilots to enter. For those that do allow student pilots into the airspace, limitations are imposed.

In order for a student pilot to land at the primary airport of a Class B airspace, that student must have previously flown into that primary airport with an instructor. That instructor must then certify that the student is familiar with the airspace, its primary airport, and is able to make the flight safely.

The instructor then endorses the student's logbook, which must be carried with the student during the entire flight.

ยง 91.131 Operations in Class B airspace.