Regional Issues - Western Region

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This page lists regional airspace issues for Seattle Center, ZSE; Salt Lake Center, ZLC; Los Angeles Center, ZLA; and Oakland Center, ZOA. Notices, restrictions, and advisories may change at any time and without notice. Do not attempt any operation in the National Airspace System without first obtaining and understanding a thorough pre-flight briefing.

FAA Center, TRACON & Airport Notices: (beginning with the most recent)

Incursions at SLC Prompt Development of New Hotspot Poster
Dec. 9, 2014
Due to recent runway incursions at Salt Lake International Airport (SLC), NBAA has partnered with the Utah Business Aviation Association (UBAA), SLC staff and the FAA’s Office of Runway Safety to assist in the development of a new hotspot poster. The poster will educate and inform flight crews about the potential for misunderstanding the location of certain taxiways as related to the FBO ramp location. Read more about runway incursions at SLC.
Pilots Urged to Exercise Caution to Prevent Runway Incursions at SLC
Sept. 10, 2014
Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) plans to take additional steps to identify where Taxiway K begins and the TAC Air FBO ramp ends, following several recent runway incursions during which pilots leaving the ramp mistakenly thought that Taxiway K was part of the ramp and Runway 17/35 was Taxiway K. The incursions highlight the need for pilots to pay special attention at the K2 intersection in front of the general aviation ramp on the east side of the airport. There has been a history of runway incursions at K2, but the most recent incidents were serious enough to cause the Salt Lake City Department of Airports to temporarily close Taxiway K2 following the incursions onto Runway 17/35. The intersection has subsequently been re-opened after some mitigation measures were put in place. Read more about avoiding runway incursions at SLC.
Special Procedures Planned in Southern California for College Football Events
Dec. 27, 2013
There will be special air traffic management procedures in place the first week of January to accommodate the high volume expected for both the Rose Bowl and BCS Championship Football Games held in Pasadena, CA on Jan. 2 and 6. While there will not be an air traffic slot reservation program for either of these events, operators can expect possible ground delay programs, airspace flow programs and/or miles-in-trail for flights destined to Burbank (BUR), Van Nuys (VNY) and Santa Monica (SMO) airports.

Review the FAA's Impact Report
FAA Publishes Final Rule on Modification of Las Vegas Class B Airspace
July 25, 2013
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently issued a final rule modifying the dimensions and design of the Class B airspace overlying Las Vegas, NV. The airspace redesign will take effect on Aug. 22, and will expand the lateral and vertical limits of the protected airspace in many areas in order to ensure the containment of large turbine-powered aircraft within Class B.

The redesign also raises the ceiling of the entire Class B airspace from 9,000 feet MSL to 10,000 feet MSL.

These changes will help reduce air traffic controller workload and reduce the potential for midair collision in the Las Vegas terminal area.

View the new Las Vegas, NV Class B Airspace Area Final Rule (701 KB, PDF)

View a map of the New Las Vegas Class B Airspace (226 KB, PDF)
Portland Implements Changes to RNAV STARs
Oct. 21, 2013
Several changes to arrival procedures took effect at Portland International Airport (PDX) last week. The HHOOD RNAV STAR was changed to HHOOD2, removing altitude and speed restrictions as well as the “turbojets only” notation, making HHOOD2 the preferred arrival for aircraft arriving PDX from the east. Additionally, two new STARs took effect: KRATAR1 and TMBRS1. KRATAR1 is essentially an overlay of HELNS and will now be the preferred arrival for aircraft operating from the north. A NOTAM will be issued classifying TMBRS1 as “Do not file. ATC assigned only.” All aircraft arriving PDX from the south, that would normally file the MOXEE STAR, should continue to do so. For more information, contact NBAA's Bob Lamond at rlamond@nbaa.org.
Las Vegas Makes Changes To Departure Procedures
July 15, 2013
The Las Vegas (LAS) TRACON announced in Letter to Airmen No. 13-02 that the control tower located at McCarran International Airport will now limit departures from runway 19L/R as a normal procedure effective July 12, 2013. This action is being taken as a result of identified operational issues between aircraft departing runway 19L/R and go-around traffic from the runway 25L/R complex. Operators should plan on departing runway 25R in lieu of runway 19L/R. FAA is requesting that general aviation operators filing over the TRALR waypoint utilize the STAAV FOUR Departure in lieu of the LAS VEGAS THREE Departure to help maintain consistent traffic flow. Operators should plan for additional taxi times and fuel burn as a result of this operational change. For more information please contact the LAS Tower at 702-262-5975. View the Letter to Airmen .
Jeppesen Issues Chart Alert for SFO
July 8, 2013
Jeppesen issued an alert warning all operators that the tower monitor frequency at San Francisco International (SFO) is not depicted on the current charting cycle dated June 21, 2013 (effective June 27, 2013) for the following two approach procedures: RNAV (GPS) PRM Runway 28L and RNAV (GPS) PRM X Runway 28R. The frequencies are 125.15 and 127.675, respectively, and have been listed on the “Attention all Users” page (AAUP 12-10 and 12-11). Additionally, the VNAV path will not be valid to the runway threshold for the RNAV (GPS) PRM X Runway 28R approach until July 25. During this current cycle, the VNAV path is valid only to DARNE after which pilots must utilize the PAPI. This announcement is unrelated to the accident of Asiana Airlines 777 that took place on July 6, 2013. The Jeppesen announcement was published on July 2, 2013. Learn more.
FAA to Release New GPS-Based Approaches at San Francisco
June 7, 2013
To minimize capacity restrictions during work impacting the localizer and instrument landing systems (ILS) at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), the FAA will release in the June 27 charting cycle two GPS-based simultaneous close parallel approaches for the airport. The new approaches are overlays of the existing simultaneous close parallel localizer and ILS approaches to runways 28R and 28L. No additional training is required, but operators holding operations specifications will need to add this type of approach to their list of authorized approaches in operations specification C052. Part 91 operators require no specific authorization, provided they are appropriately equipped and meet FAA simultaneous close parallel training requirements. Learn more about the new approaches at SFO.
Flight Advisory Warns of GPS Interference Around Las Vegas
March 4, 2013
The FAA issued a Flight Advisory warning operators in the southwest region to be cautious and maintain awareness of GPS reliability during a two-week testing period. Between February 25 and March 13, 2013 intermittent GPS testing will take place and may result in an unreliable or unavailable GPS signal within a 215 nautical miles radius of the Las Vegas VORTAC (LAS). The area impacted by this testing could extend into Mexican airspace. Dates and times for the testing periods are listed in the advisory and pilots are advised to review the information, check NOTAMs frequently, and report any anomalies and GPS degradation to the appropriate Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). View the Flight Advisory NAFC GPS 13–05.
Jeppesen NavData Error at Las Vegas McCarran Airport
January 7, 2013
Jeppesen released a NavData alert on January 4, 2013, concerning improper coding of the RNAV (GPS) approaches to runways 19L and 19R at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS). These are the primary GA runways for landing since the FBOs are all on the west side of the airport. The RNAV (GPS) approaches are the only approaches to these runways. Review the full Jeppesen NavData alert.
FAA Cancels Oceanic Plain Language NOTAM
April 16, 2012
Based on industry feedback and an FAA review conducted earlier this year, the Los Angeles ARTCC is eliminating the Oceanic Plain Language NOTAM due to redundancies in notifying operators of the availability of control extensions off the Southern California coastline. Effective April 16, this NOTAM will be cancelled. Despite some concerns over the reliability of obtaining information when warning areas are hot, the FAA received overwhelming confirmation from operators that removal of the NOTAM would in fact have no impact on operations. Through a letter of agreement with the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, the FAA ensures that one control extension will always be available to operators. Learn More (225 KB, PDF) .
FAA Issues Advisory to Operators Using North Las Vegas Airport
April 21, 2011
During the last two years, over 80 pilot deviations have occurred when aircraft are departing North Las Vegas Airport (VGT) on the North Town 2 Standard Instrument Departure (SID). With four busy airports located in the Las Vegas valley, it is critical that operators fly the SID exactly as published to prevent loss of separation from other traffic. During the pre-flight planning and briefing process, pilots should review the departure procedure and be prepared to fly it as published. Review the Departure Procedure (330 KB, PDF).
New Departure Procedure at SNA Helps Noise Abatement Efforts
February 3, 2011
As part of an ongoing effort to reduce aircraft noise over communities surrounding John Wanye Airport (SNA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has introduced a new departure procedure from that airport that will be available later this month. The new STREL RNAV procedure will be available to appropriately equipped aircraft for departures headed to destinations east of Las Vegas.
Ramp and Taxiway Safety Emphasized at Billings Logan International Airport (BIL)
December 22, 2009
Due to a number of recent ground incidents at Billings Logan International Airport (BIL), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is asking pilots to be vigilant while on the ground at there. A contributing factor to the issues at Billings involves a runway hold-short line that was moved closer to the ramp (away from the runway), resulting in several runway incursions. Also, passengers either deplaning or getting ready to board have crossed hold lines in order to take pictures of the surrounding scenery. In order to draw attention to these problem areas, the FAA has produced guidance in the form of a “hot spot brochure.” Download the BIL “hot spot brochure” (518KB, PDF)
Notice to Operators Using the SNA DUUKE RNAV Departure Procedure
September 18, 2009
The FAA recently began assigning eligible area navigation (RNAV) equipped aircraft the DUUKE ONE RNAV departure procedure from John Wayne-Orange County Airport (SNA) in Santa Ana, CA. Since the procedure was implemented, a business aviation operator was involved in a pilot deviation from the procedure that required ATC intervention to resolve the situation. It is imperative that operators review the procedure prior to departure and ensure the aircraft is flown in accordance with the procedure and ATC instructions. For more information, view FAA Letter to Airmen 09-03.
NBAA, Las Vegas-Area Members Help Bring New Route to Western Region
June 15, 2009
On July 2, the FAA will implement a new route from San Diego International Airport (SAN) to Henderson Executive Airport (HND) near Las Vegas, NV available to general aviation. NBAA and Las Vegas-based Members have worked for the past year with the Las Vegas and Southern California Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facilities and Los Angeles Center to make this route available. This route will take Henderson-bound aircraft off of the Las Vegas McCarran International (LAS) arrival routes, saving operators time and distance; will reduce workload for air traffic controllers; and will increase capacity for the airport. NBAA anticipates that soon, aircraft departing from airports across the San Diego area and as far north as John Wayne Orange County (SNA) could be offered the new route. Review a description and map of the route.
Las Vegas ATC Issues Letter to Airmen on Pre Departure Clearances
May 20, 2009
Las Vegas Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) is experiencing difficulties with aircrews flying unexpected routings when departing Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS). A review of the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) has identified a possible problem with the way crews are viewing the Pre Departure Clearances (PDC) for amendments to ATC clearances. It appears the way that the PDC shows an amendment to a routing is either being missed and/or misunderstood by crewmembers. The Las Vegas TRACON has issued a letter to airmen to brief all aircrews flying out of McCarran Airport to check all of the PDC for amended routing assignments. If aircrews are uncertain of a departure routing received from PDC they should contact Las Vegas Clearance Delivery for clarification. For more information, view the letter (PDF, 182KB).
LTA 09-01: Practice Instrument Approaches Conducted within High Desert TRACON's Airspace (75 KB, PDF)
May 5, 2009
This letter to airmen describes the procedures used by the High Desert TRACON to provide service to aircraft conducting practice instrument approaches to the William J. Fox (WJF), Palmdale production Flight/Test Air Force Plant 42 (PMD) and Southern California International (VCV) airports. More.
New Communications Procedures Issued for Simultaneous Approaches at SFO
December 22, 2008
On January 15, the FAA will make changes to the communications procedures used during Precision Runway Monitor approaches when Simultaneous Offset Instrument Approach operations are in progress at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Aircraft flying the ILS PRM 28L and LDA PRM 28R approaches will remain in communication with the final radar controller and monitor the PRM frequency until reaching the end of the No Transgression Zone, which is as close as 3.4 nautical miles from the runway threshold. At that time, aircraft will be switched to the tower frequency of 120.5 MHz for both runways. View the FAA Letter to Airmen (348KB, PDF)
FAA Releases Western Service Area Letter to Airmen 08-03
July 2, 2008
VFR aircraft executing practice instrument approaches at the locations listed in the letter will be provided IFR separation, to the extent possible, as described in the Aeronautical Information Manual, paragraph 4-3-21. Controller responsibility for separation begins at the point where the approach clearance becomes effective. View LTA 08-03.
FAA Presentation Regarding LAS Traffic Management Now Available
May 15, 2006
FAA Las Vegas Tower/TRACON has released a PowerPoint presentation that provides an overview of traffic management challenges in the Las Vegas area.
FAA Seeks Higher Business Aviation Use of SOIA/PRM Approaches at SFO
March 7, 2005
The FAA is seeking higher business aviation use of simultaneous offset instrument approach (SOIA)/precision runway monitor (PRM) approaches at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). On October 26, 2004, SFO implemented the capability to conduct simultaneous approaches to runways 28R and 28L in weather conditions of 2,100-foot ceiling and 4 miles visibility and greater, a procedure known as a SOIA, which utilizes an LDA PRM 28R and ILS PRM 28L approach. In order for pilots to participate in these procedures, they must have completed FAA required training. All general aviation pilots must be familiar with the Aeronautical Information Manual with regards to closely spaced approaches and SOIA. FAA videos also are available for guidance. More.

LTA 04-03: Las Vegas Tower/TRACON, McCarran International Airport, Sunday Departure Delays (7KB, PDF)
October 1, 2004
During peak demand periods on Sunday aircraft may experience departure delays of 60 minutes or more at McCarran International Airport. This LTA recommends that to avoid lengthy departure delays operators schedule departures from McCarran before 0900L and from 1730 to 2200L when possible.