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Below is the depiction of the Truth or Consequences airport on the VFR sectional. Notice that it states that Class E to the surface is only effective for certain hours.

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The Chart Supplement lists the effective hours as 9:00 - 17:00 local (converted from Zulu). My question is why are the Class E surface hours limited to 9:00 to 17:00 local and not effective for 24 hours each day? I understand that airspace reverts to less restrictive airspace when a control tower closes but there is no airport tower at this airport or a towered airport anywhere near this airport.

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  • $\begingroup$ I don”t have a source handy at the moment, but Class C, D, and E airports revert to Class G when communication with ATC to the ground and official weather reporting is not available. $\endgroup$ – JScarry Mar 17 at 14:27
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The class E airspace protects IFR traffic departing and approaching the airport from incursions by VFR aircraft.

visibility and cloud clearance requirements for Class E are more strict compared to Class G (which is what the airspace reverts to after-hours).

3 statue mile visibility, 500 below, 1000 above, and 2000' horizontal from clouds for Class E

Compare that to 1 sm / clear of clouds for Class G

You could see that someone pushing the limits of VFR, scud-running to/from the airport might pose a danger to an IFR aircraft on approach to the airport and might pop out of the clouds and get a surprise.

As to the choice of hours, that's likely an FAA decision based on traffic volumes.

Normally you see this at airports that serve rural locations with scheduled passenger service throughout the day (and possibly later at night as well). Pellston, MI is another airport that comes to mind with a Class E surface area, but it is 24 hours a day. I think Delta serves Pellston with 1 or 2 flights a day from Detroit.

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