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The NY Class B airspace is defined, officially, as seen in this document, which can be found in the VFR Class B Graphics in the FAA website. In this graphic (and in the corresponding shapefile, Class Airspace), the flight altitude limits can clearly be seen, for example 70/30 in the "outer ring", meaning, below 7000 FT and above 3000 FT.

However, in the specific SOP definitions for the NYARTCC, here, different altitude limits can clearly be seen, for example in the DEP 4L LAND 4L/R.

Why are these two limits incompatible? Which ones are technically "officially" valid?

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    $\begingroup$ The information from the FAA will the the official values. The SOP information is for simulation only, not real world use. $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Apr 10 '18 at 22:14
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your answer. Could you provide a link regarding to the aforementioned SOP information? Using the FAA provided Class B data (the corresponding shapefile from here (ais-faa.opendata.arcgis.com/) ), there is only information up to 7,000 feet. What about the airspace above that? Where can I find this information? $\endgroup$ Apr 11 '18 at 9:49
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure where to find more info but you can post the FAA shape file data as an answer to your previous question, if you found what you were looking for. $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Apr 11 '18 at 14:28
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    $\begingroup$ It may not be obvious to someone reading this question casually but the NYARTCC site you linked to is run by virtual aviation enthusiasts for the VATSIM network. So I'm not sure what sort of answer you expect, because you're comparing two completely different things. As for the airspace above 7000', it's class E. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Apr 11 '18 at 16:08
  • $\begingroup$ Indeed, I found out in the disclaimer at the bottom of the page. In fact, I may have not phrased my question very well. My confusion arose because the NY TRACON is divided into sectors (as I see in various software such as EuroScope), and I have found that these sectors have quite different flight levels. The various SID/STAR procedures around the major NY airports also make reference to much different altitudes than those in Class B. I better post a different, clearer question. When I clear up what is going on, I will return to provide an answer here. $\endgroup$ Apr 11 '18 at 17:38
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The commenters have a good point that the SOP documents you liked are for hobbyist simulation and are not necessarily faithful reproductions of real-world procedures. But even in the real world who owns which specific volume of the air at which specific altitudes is not necessarily correlated with the regulatory airspace class for a given volume of air at a given altitude.

The two altitude limits are different (not "incompatible"!):

  • One is regulatory, and binding on pilots. No pilot may operate in the Class B airspace, unless they have received a clearance from ATC allowing them to do so. For IFR aircraft, they will receive their clearance on the ground; they will be cleared to fly a certain route at a certain altitude, and it does not matter what airspace class the route crosses or enters, because they have already received a clearance to fly that route. For VFR pilots, they may operate as they wish in Class E airspace, but before entering Class B airspace must receive a clearance from ATC telling them which heading to fly at what altitude. (There are similar but less restrictive requirements that VFR aircraft must abide by to enter Class C or Class D airspace.)
  • The other is not regulatory, and has to do with ATC. Regardless of the airspace classification of any volume of air, one and only one specific control position is responsible for all aircraft operating within that volume. The document you found lays out the boundaries (in 3D space) for those volumes of air, which are not directly relevant or known to pilots. The volumes will be designed so that certain activities (arrivals joining the localizer and coming in to land, or departures climbing away from the airport) can be monitored and controlled by only one controller without unnecessary handoffs.
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  • $\begingroup$ Related: aviation.stackexchange.com/a/56045/34686 . A brief condensation of the letter posted in this answer might be as follows: "The control tower only 'owns' the Class D airspace, not the E4 "extensions". Thus the tower can only grant SVFR privileges in the Class D airspace, not the E4 'extensions'. The regulatory aspects are a different 'kettle of fish" from the 'ownership' of the airspace, but we believe that the regulations are also such the SVFR is never permitted in surface-level Class E 'extensions' (E4 airspace) (ctd) – $\endgroup$ Mar 25 at 15:35
  • $\begingroup$ (Ctd) "The regulatory aspects are a different 'kettle of fish" from the 'ownership' of the airspace, but we believe that the regulations are also such that SVFR is never permitted in surface-level Class E 'extensions' (E4 airspace) regardless of who owns it." That last point, by the way, is probably not consistent with the original intent of the FAA at the time the relevant rules were drafted, or the best possible interpretation of the rules as they stand today, or even with the majority of current ATC practice regarding the surface-level Class E "extensions" (E4 airspace)--for more, see (ctd) $\endgroup$ Mar 25 at 15:36
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Airspace class is not the same as airspace ownership.

TRACONs own a larger (often far, far larger) chunk of airspace, both horizontally and vertically, than is designated class B/C/TRSA. You can see rough maps of airspace owned by TRACONs in the answers to this question. Unfortunately, exact dimensions are not published anywhere by the FAA, so all we have are these maps (created for another purpose) that have leaked.

Everything in between and above the TRACONs is owned by the ARTCCs.

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