IFR transition through Chicago B airspace


I am planning to fly from Florida to Milwaukee, filing IFR (planning to go to the Oshkosh airshow). The shortest trip would be via V191 which is very close to O’hare, through Chicago class B airspace. Does anyone know what the likelihood is of actually getting this routing and what altitudes would be required (I am flying a single engine piston). Thanks much for any information.



The odds of being allowed to fly through depend upon your altitude, but they most likely will not allow you to fly directly over top of the airfield, or within a few miles. I did not check out your specific route, but if you are going to clip the outer rings by a few miles, then you might be OK, but otherwise I would expect vectors around.

I would suggest filing a route that will take you to the west, or if you don’t mind flying at a low altitude (2500’ or so) then check out the Chicago TAC/FLY Chart (Available on SKYVECTOR.com) for the VFR transition route along the lakeshore.


I know this doesn’t directly answer your question but Milwaukee approach won’t handle VFR traffic in the northern half of its airspace, as stated in the Airventure NOTAM. The reason I bring that up is that there are some changes and restrictions in the airspaces like Milwaukee. With many planes flying to Oshkosh, and many airliners flying in the Chicago airspace, I would think they would route you around the Chicago airspace, but for sure not within miles of O’hare. However, I am no expert on that airspace, and have no clue what they are going to do.



Oh, and I know you may have planned, but why not try Fond d lac (KFLD) or West Bend (KETB). They are a lot closer.


I live across the lake from KORD, and have flown in the area many times.
Recently, a fellow pilot who I know flew in the area, and was routed around the bravo airspace adding about 20 minutes to his trip, and he was on an IFR flightplan.

I think that the answer depends upon traffic flow and volume, your altitude compared to other traffic, and exactly how far into the airspace you want to fly. Also, I doubt the controllers are going to be exceptionally accommodating during the Oshkosh season, so expect to be routed around.


It has never been done.

You will not be the first.

Chicago HATES GA. From the Mayor to the lowliest trainee controller - you are a problem to be dealt with.


Wow … that’s quite harsh.

I just got back from the Chicago Area (I was parked at Lewis U. airport for a couple of days). As usual when I fly in the US, I went exclusively IFR. As to the original question, I haven’t flown a lot in the Chicago area but the geometry of the airspace and the position of the GA airports seems to lead to a constant conga line of GA aircraft being routed around the perimeter of the Class B airspace. Your chances of being routed directly through are pretty slim.

I thought that the controllers were pretty good; the Centre seemed to me to be really understaffed. On departure I really wanted to get my clearance on the ground and the airport was uncontrolled. I finally got through to Kankakee Radio while holding short of the active and got a clearance with a void time 3 minutes after being issued. I know that you should argue but I decided to hustle and I guess that I made it.

All in all, be alert and have a good trip.


Ok, the mayor is a tool, but the controllers are great. I’ve flown into O’Hare, DuPage, Midway, and the much missed Meigs in Kingairs and bizjets and have never had a single issue with the handling. Lots of vectoring, but that was airline and GA alike.


Your going to fly to the Osh Kosh airshow and your worried about Chicago airspace? What part of Florida. Just go to Springfield then north.This shouldnt be too far out of your way.


This is an old post, just got one here to read some of them. So the show has come and gone months ago so it won’t help the orginal poster now.
However, Based in Fond du lac for the last 20 years, flown alot from/to and around the “A” hole of Illinois to all directions.
South to north, IFR between 3000 to 12000 feet, expect 99% of the time close to Rockford route, or 35 miles east over the lake(middle of it)- your choice they will say, unless someone screws up and forgets about you. VFR- 2000 feet along the shore is ok in good weather, or over 10000 right over the class B- This “a” hole can put on an extra 60 miles sometimes if you don’t like to fly over very cold water in a single.
Recently they are trying to increase the ranges i think by 5 more miles around the whole Class B “A” hole.
I loved Meigs by the way, since that situation occured, well, you can see my opinion of this area, whether driving or flying!