Question about Uncontrolled Airfields


When a plane that has filed a flight plan departs an airfield not having a control tower, when are they required to contact ATC? E.G. A G4 jet
scheduled to go to say KPBI from KDMW or KFDK will have to traverse the Washington DC control zone (if I understand correctly), when does that plane have to contact the DC control (and on what frequency - as I’d love to listen in)?


If you can depart visually, you can contact ATC anytime that’s practical as long as you follow visual flight rules. If you cannot depart visually, you can contact ATC via the radio to get your clearance, or via Flight Service over a telephone. Flight service or ATC will give you a clearance void time that will clear the airspace for a set time to allow you to depart. If you cannot depart in that time span, you must contact ATC for a new void time.

As far as the DC ADIZ, the only requirement is to have a discrete transponder code and on an IFR flight plan (or D.C. ADIZ). If you are departing from within the ADIZ, you must establish two-way communication with ATC before you depart and maintain that communication while operating inside the ADIZ. There are a few exceptions for a couple airports and VFR traffic that are remaining in the pattern.

Aircraft entering will be handled no differently than any other IFR traffic. It would be almost impossible to say which frequency they would be communicating on since DC is littered with ATC sectors at various altitudes and locations all with separate frequencies.


Not true…

From my experiences IFR will be required to stay on airways, where as VFR can fly off airways.



By VFR, do you mean D.C. ADIZ? I was under the impression that VFR traffic was prohibited.


VFR traffic is not prohibited. You were partly right, with the discrete transponder code requirement, and an ADIZ flight plan, but you don’t HAVE to be IFR. (though it is easier, and less chance of screwing up if you are on an IFR flight plan)

There is also a special code you can squawk when flying into (and another code, for departing) Bay Bridge airport and Kentmorr Airpark on the eastern shore of MD, across the bay from Annapolis. You don’t even need to talk to ATC if you are on this code and you fly directly in from the east, and depart directly east.


Crab run!!!


Squawk and talk. No 1200 codes.

Must have a descrete transponder code as CFIJames already mentioned.



Most importantly, a GLF4 would need to contact air traffic control prior to passing 18,000ft and turbine aircraft rarely cruise below that altitude except during very short flights.


Interesting to note that a pilot crashed and burned after taking off into the ADIZ while squaking 1200. ATC told him he was in violation and to land immediately at the airport he departed. The PRELIMINARY report suggests that perhaps the crash was caused by an attempt to fly VFR in IMC conditions rather than forgetting to fly the plane after the realization of busting airspace.