~ FAA AIRCRAFT DESIGN CLASS DEFINITION ~

 

To keep it simple - Palomar (CRQ) is a FAA Certified B-II airport.  That means, only Class B-II Aircraft should be using CRQ.

 

The FAA Design Classifications are shown in the chart below, e.g., Design Class B-II aircraft"

  • Wing Span must be less than 79 feet

  • Approach Speed must be less than 121 knots

  • Total Height must be less than 30 feet heigh

However, nothing is simple.

 

Even though CRQ is certified as ONLY a B-II airport, it doesn't mean C/D-III aircraft cannot use the airport and they do.  According to the County of San Diego, in 2015, 6,000 Design Class C/D-III aircraft use the Airport.  The result is there have been a number of aborted approaches, because the Class C/D-III aircraft is coming in at a faster speed and overtaking the slower Class B-II aircraft.  What!  Who is looking out for the public's safety?

When the FAA is questioned on why this is happening:

 

The FAA states it has no control on what type of aircraft lands at any airport, it is up to the pilot to take the responsibility that the airport is safe to land.  Furthermore, the airport has no authority to prevent any aircraft from landing.  What!  Who is protecting the public's safety?

 

Because of this "nod and wink" responsibility, today CRQ has Design Class C/D-III jets hangared and routinely taking off and landing at all hours of the day and night.

 

But it is more complicated than that.  Per FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 150/1500-13A regulations, airports servicing Class C/D-III planes are required to have the distance between the centerlines of the runway and the taxiway be a minimum of 400 feet; however, since CRQ is an older B-II airport, its centerline distance is only 295.5 feet.  What!

 

But according to the FAA, that is not a problem.  CRQ is grandfathered and is not required to correct the deficiency --- unless there is a fusion of new FAA Grant Monies requiring major expansion of the airport.

What!  Who's looking out for the public's safety?

The simple answer is - the pilots.