The communication and radar equipment is already in place to provide radar services. ATC staff them. It seems like the biggest investment to get them converted to class C is charting. Why haven't they been converted in the 25 years since the airspace reclassification?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of What is a Terminal Radar Service Area (TRSA) and what are its operational requirements? $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 4:29
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Dave Not even close to a duplicate. $\endgroup$
    – Matt Young
    Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 4:30
  • $\begingroup$ while the question its self is not (in terms of the direct ask). The answer ultimately covers this question hence the dupe marking. If no one else feels it is a dupe it will remain open, it takes a few dupe markings before a question is closed as a permanent dupe. $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 4:38
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    $\begingroup$ @Dave That answer is 10% of what I'm looking for at best. $\endgroup$
    – Matt Young
    Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 4:39
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    $\begingroup$ If that's true @MattYoung then I would suggest expanding your question. If others feel that the answer is covered and you don't there must be a way to express that. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 13:12

1 Answer 1


Class C airspace is established by a rulemaking procedure (i.e., Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, comments, publication, etc.). TRSAs are not established by rulemaking action.

From FAA JO 7210.3Z- Facility Operations and Administration -para. 11-1-3 & 4

Class C:

Class C airspace must be officially designated by airspace action in 14 CFR Part 71 and is established solely to define the airspace in which all aircraft are subject to operating rules and equipment requirements specified in 14 CFR Part 91.[emphasis is mine]


TRSAs are not officially designated by airspace action and were established solely to define an area within which a separation service will be provided. [empasis is mine]

Within a TRSA the (vfr) pilot is not required to participate. However, within Class C airspace a (vfr) pilot is required to participate.

It is not as simple as a charting issue:

If a Radar Facility Manager wants to change a TRSA and make it Class C airspace a staff study must be done and proper justification has to be documented and approved. See Class C Airspace Processing (staff study protocol) FAA Order 7400.2L - Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters - para: 16-3-1

Since the implementation of Regulatory Class C airspace requires more ATC involvement to provide the service (Class C service) and requires mandatory participation on the part of vfr pilots, the process can be a significant challenge that has to be clearly needed for the area in question and fully justified with consideration of public comments, etc., and a variety of other procedural steps to comply with rulemaking procedures.

In short, unless the Facility Manager (for that area) has determined that a higher level of air traffic control is necessary for safety/service, etc., and then provides justification and considers comments from the public (who may not want the additional restrictions of Class C), changing a TRSA into Class C airspace won't happen.


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