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You're a helicopter pilot at a class B airport. You'd like to taxi to another parking spot. The ground controller could either give you a hover taxi clearance or an air taxi clearance, depending on the situation. Either way will get you off the ground and (technically) gets you to enter the class B airspace. Would you need to obtain a class B entry clearance prior to requesting your taxi clearance?

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No. Hover taxiing with a helicopter follows the same regulations as taxiing with an aircraft (or helicopter) on wheels.

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  • $\begingroup$ Does the same go for air taxiing? $\endgroup$ – Daan L. Jul 10 at 18:09
  • $\begingroup$ Hover taxi cannot happen unless you are in the air.... $\endgroup$ – Juan Jimenez Jul 10 at 18:31
  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean? I believe the commenter is talking about the regulations, not necessarily that you're taxiing on wheels. @JuanJimenez $\endgroup$ – Daan L. Jul 10 at 18:41
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    $\begingroup$ Negative, at least not in the United States. If you're hover taxiing you're staying above the taxiways no higher than 25 ft AGL. If you're air taxiing you can fly anywhere within the airport boundaries at an altitude no higher than 100 ft AGL as long as you remain clear of traffic. Reference: faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/… page 7 @MichaelHall $\endgroup$ – Daan L. Jul 10 at 19:34
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for clarifying the difference. Still, in either case you are already in their space, and receiving clearance from the controlling authority who understands what is entailed in your request is sufficient. That's a far cry different from someone on the outside asking to transit through the Bravo. $\endgroup$ – Michael Hall Jul 10 at 20:35
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You need to be cleared into Class B airspace. Are you suggesting that a helicopter on the ground at a Class B airspace FBO is not in Class B airspace?

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    $\begingroup$ No, but so are airplanes. Are you suggesting that even a GA airplane that just wants to reposition on the ramp needs a clearance into the class B? $\endgroup$ – Daan L. Jul 12 at 17:19
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Technically, even with wheels on the ground anything above the surface is in class B airspace if you are at the primary airport. I have never been a helicopter PIC in class B so I cannot answer definitively, but if there is no intent to fly and you are cleared to airtaxi by ATC, (albeit a ground controller) that should be sufficient.

If you are actually facing this situation it wouldn't hurt to call on a landline ahead of time to clarify expectations with your local controllers. In any case you wouldn't need to make a separate radio call for class B entry. If you are truly concerned, this could be accomplished all at once. For example: "(callsign) request airtaxi in Bravo airspace from _ to _." Then you have it on tape.

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  • $\begingroup$ This was just hypothetical. Thanks for your answer. $\endgroup$ – Daan L. Jul 10 at 18:08
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    $\begingroup$ This doesn't make sense to me. Taxi permission is dependent on the airfield. If it's controlled then you get permission from the tower ground controller, if it's uncontrolled it's pilot's discretion $\endgroup$ – GdD Jul 11 at 9:16
  • $\begingroup$ @GdT Yes, I agree. Nothing I said contradicts this. What specifically doesn't make sense? $\endgroup$ – Michael Hall Jul 14 at 20:19

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