Am I Misunderstanding Bravo/Charlie Airspace?

When I take off from a smaller regional airport near (or “under”) Bravo or Charlie airspace, I would usually expect to continue flying (VFR) “under” the Bravo until I’m outside the area, then climb to my cruising altitude.

For example, runway at 0 MSL, airport located in a Bravo wedge that is 100/40 (10,000–4,000 ft) … if I am flying below 4,000 ft then I would not be making a call to ask for Bravo transition clearance. Right?

But every time I’m handed off from tower to approach, my only option in ATC is to Request Class B Airspace Clearance. What am I missing?

You’re understanding is correct. You do not need clearance to go under the Class Bravo airspace. What I’m missing though is you are saying when handed off from tower to approach. If this is VFR as you stated, in the real world, tower would simply state “you are leaving my airspace, frequency change approved”. the rest would be up to you.

You aren’t missing anything. Normally, you wouldn’t need to talk to anyone in that situation. If you were departing from a towered airport under Class B, they would just tell you “frequency change approved” once you were no longer in their airspace. At that point, you wouldn’t need to be talking to anyone, provided you remained clear of the Class B boundaries.

Default ATC is so bad that IMO, it isn’t worth using. It would be a large undertaking to get it right, so I don’t expect Asobo to ever make it work to a satisfactory level. There are some third party options, such as Pilot2ATC and PF3, but they aren’t perfect either.

Really, we need Asobo to further develop the SDK to support a high quality ATC add-on. Specifically, we need an in-sim weather API, as well as either public documentation of the BGL format or (ideally) an API to expose navigation data and airport layout data. Finally, there may be improvements needed to SimConnect for AI aircraft control as well as better AI aircraft behavior in general (i.e. aircraft taking the first available taxiway to exit the runway upon landing, etc.). If we had these things, I have no doubt that great ATC add-ons would be developed by third parties.


OK, maybe that’s what I was missing — I don’t need to talk to anyone unless I want to request flight following, in which case it sounds like I’m bound by the limitations of the current ATC and can only request Class B + flight following.

Yes, ATC still needs a lot of work. Hopefully Asobo will get around to improving ATC at some point in the not too distant future. But Asobo have so many fish to fry atm…

True. Honestly folks are better off simulating their own ATC practicing real-world procedures vs using any part of the default ATC. Or, at a minimum, join VATSIM and spend time flying where controllers are online for a more true-to-life ATC experience. The simulators built-in ATC is teaching bad / wrong procedures and it should honestly be disabled overall.


Hi there,
Do you feel comfortable sharing the airport and runway? I’d like to try it and see if I can reproduce it.
I know that when there is not a class B shelf, I get a “frequency change approved”.

Might also be a result of the temperature/altitude bug. ATC might have thought he was higher than indicated…

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Sure! Just for clarity, you and @Fmgc320 are correct, in that I’m getting the “frequency change approved” flying VFR.

A great example of this behavior is flying out of Falcon Field KFFZ in Mesa, AZ. It’s under the extended east-west Bravo for Sky Harbor, but you shouldn’t infringe upon that unless you climb over 4,000 MSL. I’ve witnessed this behavior as low as 500 AGL (1,900 MSL).

Live Weather? What Temps are you departing at?

After the most recent update, ATC can read you at the wrong altitude by a matter of several thousand feet, especially on a hot day.

My guess is that’s what happened. Try again, but turn the temperature way down and see what you get?

I agree, however I recently joined vatsim but it took me a long time to get some dutch courage, not everyone is comfortable in that situation, especially talking to a live person…so Vatsim is not the answer to ATC for everyone. (Although I did love it, you are still limited)

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Thank you! Solid info, great post.

In the checklist, it tells you that you are supposed to change the altimeter to what’s reported by the weather report, but when in external view, it will show the default altimeter reading and a totally different altitude then your cockpit.

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Exactly the known bug I’m referring to.

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I always tune my radios to 121,5 and fly in peace ^^

But it doesn’t make you request that clearance, it just offers an option to, because the class B is nearby. The ATC engine doesn’t know if you are going into that nearby Bravo or just flying by. But who would we be if we didn’t kick the dead body of the default ATC :laughing: which is far from being perfect indeed.