Positive Controlled Airspace

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Positive Controlled Airspace

Posted by Howard Smith on Aug 30, 2017 11:20 am

I am trying to find out in what year did Flt. Level 180 become positive controlled airspace. I can remember that in 1954 we climbed to 23000 and cancelled IFR and went VFR to our destination, I can't find it anywhere.. 
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Re: Positive Controlled Airspace

Posted by Ronald Levy on Aug 30, 2017 1:28 pm

It was before 1969 when I started flying.  My guess is that it happened after and as a result of the Grand Canyon mid-air in 1956.

Re: Positive Controlled Airspace

Posted by Michael Meadows on Sep 3, 2017 10:30 pm

Re: Positive Controlled Airspace

Posted by Ronald Levy on Sep 4, 2017 6:07 pm

Michael Meadows:
Sept. 16, 1993  see https://www.aopa.org/members/ftmag/article.cfm?article=1054

Mike Meadows
 

That's when the FAA changed the name of PCA to Class A airspace to align US airspace names with ICAO standards, but the 18,000-and-up PCA existed long before 1993.

Re: Positive Controlled Airspace

Posted by Michael Meadows on Sep 13, 2017 1:27 pm

Howard, I belive the answer to your question is Oct 14, 1971, or earlier years if you flew in particular routes or areas designated as Positive Control Areas or routes.

The answer can be found in a document called the "FAA HISTORICAL CHRONOLOGY, 1926-1996" on the FAA website.  I have extracted the relevant sections below:

In 1957 the CAA designated all airspace at or above 24,000 feet as the continental control area.  They also planned superskyways for transcontinental routes that would provide positive control.  Five trial routes were designated as positive control routes.  IFR operations only were allowed in these routes.  A switch was made in 1960 to positive control over areas rather than routes.  The first of these were the areas around Chicago and Indianapolis from 24,000 feet to 35,000 feet.  A three-layer airways system was introduced in 1960 and the floor of the continental control area was lowered from 24,000 feet to 14,500 feet.  The system was simplified in 1964 to a two-layer airway route system.  The lower system up to 18,000 feet and the upper jet route portion from 18,000 to 45,000 feet.  In 1971 the FAA lowered the positive control area from 24,000 to 18,000 and redefined the area to be across the whole of the continental United States.

The ICAO Letter system became effective on Sep 16, 1993, and renamed the following airspaces:
Class A (Postive Control Area)
Class B (Terminal Control Area)
Class C (Airport Radar Service Area)
Class D (Airport Traffic Area, and Control Zone)
Class E (General Controlled Airspace)
Class G (Uncontrolled Airspace). 

Mike Meadows