How can I avoid congested airspace?
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Answered By AOPA
You’re planning a flight down the east coast of Florida to Key West. Everything is proceeding well with your planning until you get to Miami’s Class B airspace. You did this flight years ago and Miami approach was overloaded and couldn’t take you on as VFR traffic to transit their airspace. So you ended up flying through the two alert areas and over some less-than-favorable terrain to the west of MIA to avoid the class B airspace. You want to avoid this if possible, but you won’t know the workload status of Miami approach till you get there. Is there any way to transit this airspace without involving Miami or flying way out to the west?
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AOPA Staff Answer
There is an option available to you, VFR Flyways. If you look on the backside of the Miami TAC (Terminal Area Chart) you will find the VFR Flyway Planning Chart. This flyway chart, by use of light blue lines, shows suggested routes and altitudes for VFR aircraft to transit outside/under class B airspace. VFR flyways were created to give VFR pilots a way to avoid Class B airspace and an ATC clearance is not required to use these routes.
This way you can plan to use the flyways and if you are able to pick up services from Miami, great, if not at least you have a planned route and a plan of action. More information on VFR flyways and other VFR routing options you can reference chapter 3-5-7 in the Airman Information Manual (AIM) and if you are looking for general refresher on airspace AOPA’s Know Before You Go: Navigating Today’s Airspace is a great option (https://www.aopa.org/training-and-safety/online-learning/online-courses/know-before-you-go).