Quoted from Transport Canada "Class E airspace is designated where an operational need exists for controlled airspace but does not meet the requirements for Class A, B, C, or D."

Class A airspace requires you to be at a certain altitude to actually be in Class A airspace.

Class B is the same, Class C requires ATC clearance for both IFR and VFR.

Class D just requires VFR to have dialogue (two way communcation) with ATC.

What requirements wouldn't be met in a particular airspace that would need to designate it as Class E instead of the other classes?

EDIT: After some further research, the easiest way I've thought about Class E is an area that requires some control strictly for IFR traffic, but to VFR aircraft it's pretty much uncontrolled airspace.

Thank you!


1 Answer 1


The simplest answer is that Class E doesn't have a control tower, and the others (Except A) do.

Think of Class E like it's "Class A", but just at the lower altitudes. Both A and E are basically "wide swaths of airspace, not really near a major airport" with control provided by the Area Control Center (similar to ARTCC in the USA). Whereas B, C, and D are designated at airports with Control Towers. The only real difference between A and E is that no VFR traffic is allowed to enter Class A.

Although you're right that VFR traffic does not need to communicate with ATC in Class E, be careful about using the phrase "to them, it's uncontrolled airspace". It IS still controlled airspace. VFR traffic does not need (nor sometimes want) to be controlled, but that does not make the airspace "uncontrolled". "Controlled Airspace" is a term one will likely encounter on exams, and one doesn't want to get into the habit of calling it "uncontrolled" just because one is a VFR pilot.


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