AIM 3-2-1

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3-2-1. General

a. Controlled Airspace. A generic term that covers the different classification of airspace (Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, and Class E airspace) and defined dimensions within which air traffic control service is provided to IFR flights and to VFR flights in accordance with the airspace classification. (See FIG 3-2-1.)

b. IFR Requirements. IFR operations in any class of controlled airspace requires that a pilot must file an IFR flight plan and receive an appropriate ATC clearance.

c. IFR Separation. Standard IFR separation is provided to all aircraft operating under IFR in controlled airspace.

d. VFR Requirements. It is the responsibility of the pilot to insure that ATC clearance or radio communication requirements are met prior to entry into Class B, Class C, or Class D airspace. The pilot retains this responsibility when receiving ATC radar advisories. (See 14 CFR Part 91.)

e. Traffic Advisories. Traffic advisories will be provided to all aircraft as the controller's work situation permits.

f. Safety Alerts. Safety Alerts are mandatory services and are provided to ALL aircraft. There are two types of Safety Alerts:

1. Terrain/Obstruction Alert. A Terrain/Obstruction Alert is issued when, in the controller's judgment, an aircraft's altitude places it in unsafe proximity to terrain and/or obstructions; and
2. Aircraft Conflict/Mode C Intruder Alert. An Aircraft Conflict/Mode C Intruder Alert is issued if the controller observes another aircraft which places it in an unsafe proximity. When feasible, the controller will offer the pilot an alternative course of action.

FIG 3-2-1 Airspace Classes

g. Ultralight Vehicles. No person may operate an ultralight vehicle within Class A, Class B, Class C, or Class D airspace or within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport unless that person has prior authorization from the ATC facility having jurisdiction over that airspace. (See 14 CFR Part 103.)

h. Unmanned Free Balloons. Unless otherwise authorized by ATC, no person may operate an unmanned free balloon below 2,000 feet above the surface within the lateral boundaries of Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class E airspace designated for an airport. (See 14 CFR Part 101.)

i. Parachute Jumps. No person may make a parachute jump, and no pilot-in-command may allow a parachute jump to be made from that aircraft, in or into Class A, Class B, Class C, or Class D airspace without, or in violation of, the terms of an ATC authorization issued by the ATC facility having jurisdiction over the airspace. (See 14 CFR Part 105.)

Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) — Chapter 3 — Airspace
3-1-1 General • 3-1-2 Airspace Dimensions • 3-1-3 Airspace Hierarchy • 3-1-4 Basic VFR Weather Minimums • 3-1-5 VFR Cruising Altitudes

3-2-1 General • 3-2-2 Class A • 3-2-3 Class B • 3-2-4 Class C • 3-2-5 Class D • 3-2-6 Class E
3-3-1 General • 3-3-2 VFR Requirements • 3-3-3 IFR Requirements
3-4-1 General • 3-4-2 Prohibited Areas • 3-4-3 Restricted Areas • 3-4-4 Warning Areas • 3-4-5 MOAs • 3-4-6 Alert Areas • 3-4-7 Controlled Firing Areas
3-5-1 Airport Advisory Services • 3-5-2 MTRs • 3-5-3 TFRs • 3-5-4 Parachute Ops • 3-5-5 VFR Routes • 3-5-6 TRSAs • 3-5-7 National Security Areas