August 23, 2012

Despite the proliferation of election-year Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs), not all NBAA Members may be aware of where to find the Association’s most valuable information on airspace restrictions.

“NBAA’s Air Traffic Services (ATS) regularly alerts about 2,700 subscribers to airspace changes, and the operational information section of our website gets tens of thousands of views monthly,” said NBAA’s Bob Lamond, Director, Air Traffic Services & Infrastructure. “Yet many NBAA Members ask where they can find airspace information. In most cases, the answer is the NBAA ATS and the Aircraft Operations section on the NBAA website.”

The Association’s ATS is located in the Federal Aviation Association’s (FAA) Air Traffic Control System Command Center outside of Washington, D.C. Formerly called the NBAA GA Desk, NBAA ATS advocate for equitable, real-time Member access to airports and airspace. NBAA’s ATS offers access to FAA tools that provide Traffic Flow Management information and an Airspace Alerts subscription service. ATS also offers a higher tier, paid subscription service for proactive flight monitoring, ATC alerts, status alerts on the National Airspace System and real-time help for business operators to minimize delays. A new, free ATS service distributes real-time airspace alerts, news and links to NBAA Members via the NBAA ATS Twitter feed.

“Our new Twitter service reflects we are keeping up with the times,” said Bob Lamond, NBAA’s director, air traffic services and infrastructure. “We’ve been all about service to NBAA Members since we launched in 2001.”

Traffic Flow Management (TFM)

TFM is used to control air traffic flow rather than specific flights, and business operators who know how it works can operate more efficiently. This NBAA resource explains TFM initiatives including: Ground Stops, Ground Delay Programs, Airspace flow Programs, Collaborative Trajectory Options Program and more.

The TFM section of the website also provides links to a large collection of TFM-related web resources managed by the FAA, including current airspace restrictions and rerouting information.

ATC issues and procedures that affect business aviation are explained on the site include:

  • Significant NOTAM system changes coming.
  • ERAM, the FAA’s modernization of its 40+-year-old computer systems at ARTCC facilities. Among other recent ERAM changes is a requirement to file an ICAO flight plan to use RNAV arrivals and departures, and significant changes in the ICAO flight plan form slated to take effect in November.
  • Snowbird Traffic and VACAPES airspace, recently implemented offshore routes that ATC can use during the winter to cope with seasonal traffic from the northeastern U.S. to Florida.
  • A Rocky Mountain Area STMP slot reservation program that runs annually from mid-December until early January and one weekend in February for three popular GA airports in ski country.

Regional Issues

Different regions in the NAS have their own airspace issues, many relevant to business operators. NBAA categorizes regional airspace news and makes it available to NBAA Members. The Association also finds and explains air traffic issues that span multiple regions. Review the NBAA regional airspace issues page.

Airspace Alerts

E-mailed airspace alerts are an invaluable free NBAA service. Members can sign up for alerts, as well as see a list of upcoming events expected to have STMP restrictions.