Say there are two airports in a city, a large one with a control tower, and a small uncontrolled airport. Say they're only a couple miles apart, such that the small airport is well within the larger airport's controlled airspace. Is anything stopping a pilot from flying directly from one to the other?

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    $\begingroup$ I often go flying without leaving the airport, sometimes I go up and just spend an hour in the pattern never going more than a mile from the runway. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Apr 3, 2017 at 4:11

1 Answer 1


There is no rule that says that a flight needs to be at least x miles long. Most training flights don't even leave the vicinity of the airport, and they still count.

The only thing stopping your hypothetical scenario would be that the pilot taking off from the uncontrolled airport needs to obtain an airspace clearance before taking off. If the bigger airport is busy this could be denied, in which case the pilot would be stuck!

  • $\begingroup$ "... such that the small airport is well within the larger airport's controlled airspace." $\endgroup$
    – Nij
    Apr 3, 2017 at 5:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Dave Thanks, here in Australia it is called an airways clearance, but I have changed it as it looks like the OP is asking about the US. $\endgroup$
    – Ben
    Apr 3, 2017 at 5:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Nij well within can and often mean on the edge to the point where it depends what direction you go as to if you are in the airspace. Take for example KXLL which sits under the KABE shelf and depending on what altitude you climb to on departure or your direction of departure you may or may not be in the airspace. $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Apr 3, 2017 at 12:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Ben no worries I figured it was something like that just wanted to make sure it was not a typo ill remove my other comment. $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Apr 3, 2017 at 12:32

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