What is the meaning of "transition area" as used by the FAA? Does it currently have a specific meaning? Does the FAA still use the term at all? Has the meaning changed over time since the term was introduced? Is it a term that ceased to have a specific official meaning after the September 1993 "alphabet" airspace reclassification?
FAR 71.71 reads--
§ 71.71 Class E airspace. Class E Airspace consists of:
(c) The airspace areas listed as domestic airspace areas in subpart E of FAA Order 7400.11D (incorporated by reference, see § 71.1) which extend upward from 700 feet or more above the surface of the earth when designated in conjunction with an airport for which an approved instrument approach procedure has been prescribed, or from 1,200 feet or more above the surface of the earth for the purpose of transitioning to or from the terminal or en route environment.
Does this suggest that the term "transition area" is best reserved for areas of Class E airspace with a floor at 1200' AGL?
The term "transition area" does not appear in the FAA's "Airspace Designations and Reporting Points" document, current edition Order JO 7400.11D.
As airspace with a 1200' Class E floor has proliferated to cover most of the US, it seems to have become a common practice to use the term "transition area" specifically to refer to areas with a 700' Class E floor that are protecting instrument approaches. Is this really a correct practice?