Class B Airspace for Drone Pilots, Explained
Note: This article does not provide legal advice. Please consult an attorney to verify the accuracy of the information contained herein.
Introduction to Class B Airspace
Class B airspace surrounds the busiest and largest airports. Generally, airspace is from the surface to 10,000 feet mean sea level (MSL), with its ceiling expressed in hundreds of feet MSL. For example, in the image below 9,000 feet is written as 90 and surface is written as SFC.
There are two markings you need to know to identify Class B airspace – horizontal and vertical.
Horizontal boundaries are marked with a thick, blue line and made up of many shapes; circular, square, radial, etc.
Vertical boundaries are marked with a bold, blue number separated by a thick horizontal line. The top number represents the ceiling of Class B airspace in hundreds of feet MSL. The bottom number represents the floor of Class B airspace, also expressed in hundreds of feet MSL. So 90/SFC would mean the surface up to and including 9,000 feet MSL. 90/15 would mean the Class B includes airspace from 1,500 feet MSL up to and including 9,000 feet MSL. Altitudes are inclusive so the number shown is included in the airspace.
How to Fly Your Drone in Class B Airspace
A remote pilot must receive authorization before operating in Class B airspace. The most likely area of operation would be within the inner circle since it begins at surface level. Since the outer shapes begin at much higher altitudes it’s not likely a drone would be operating in these areas.
Prep for the Part 107 Exam
Refer to the Sectional Aeronautical Chart found in the Chart Supplement FAA-CT-8080-2H. During the exam you can refer to this chart to remind you of how to identify Class B.
Need More Information?
If you still have questions on airspace check out our Part 107 courses and get certified as a commercial drone pilot.