I was looking at the Los Angeles area on sky vector, and I noticed a tiny little triangular class D area right next to LAX. It shows that the height of the class D goes up to 2,500, but I couldn't see an airport in there, not even on the TAC.

Only if you click on "LA West Heli" on the top right on sky vector can you see that there is a heliport in that little area called "Chevron Refinery". On airnav, it says the identifier is 4CA6, and it says it does not have a control tower.

I have so many questions. Why is it class D if it has no control tower? Can a heliport even be class D? Why the actual heliport not appear on the sectional or even TAC? Can someone help me? :)

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    $\begingroup$ I think this may have been addressed before on ASE-- hang on, looking-- $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 9, 2021 at 17:52
  • $\begingroup$ Actually the class D is for the nearby hang gliding airport. (Kidding). The existence of a marked hang gliding site in Class D is rather "interesting", considering the language of Part 103. I know it's basically a "bunny hill" training site and they never get more than a few wingspans high there. I wonder if any special arrangements were made re permission for hang gliding, when the airspace was given the Class D designation? Could be grounds for another ASE question there-- $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 9, 2021 at 18:01
  • $\begingroup$ These links re a related question appear to also answer your question -- aviation.stackexchange.com/q/50109/34686, aviation.stackexchange.com/a/82909/34686 . Basically, the Class D airspace is controlled by LAX tower, not the heliport. It's possible that the Class D airspace designation would have still occurred even if the heliport were not there--see the similar chunk of Class D airspace a few miles to the north, which contains no heliport or airport. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 9, 2021 at 18:19
  • $\begingroup$ thanks @quietflyer What is the purpose of this class D airspace if it contains no airport? $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 9, 2021 at 18:36
  • $\begingroup$ Well, it's in a high-traffic area close to LAX. The fine print in the lower right hand portion of the text associated with the second link in the comment above, mentions a mid-air collision (elsewhere) which heightened concerns about airspace near busy airports -- and also indicates that the intent was to make the airspace Class B eventually. Apparently it was easier to make it Class D first. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 9, 2021 at 18:49

1 Answer 1


The triangular area you’re referring to is actually the LAX class D airspace.

The heliport itself is uncontrolled. It is not that uncommon for an uncontrolled heliport or airport to be within the surface area of a controlled airport. Departing aircraft are required to contact tower as soon as practical after takeoff, and arriving aircraft are told that landing is at their own risk.


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