Flying in the Memphis Area
Home Flying in the Memphis Area West Memphis (AWM) General DeWitt Spain (M01) Charles Baker (2M8) Millington Municpal (NQA) Olive Branch (OLV) Comments & Suggestions


Flying in Memphis means being aware of the Class B airspace and how to negotiate it. Memphis International Airport (MEM) is a busy airport that serves as a major hub for Northwest Airlines and as the world headquarters for Federal Express. These two companies and the other airlines that serve MEM keep the Memphis airspace busy virtually twenty-four hours a day. That said, the Memphis air traffic controllers are some of the friendliest around, and in our experience they will do their best to accommodate general aviation traffic that needs to transit the airspace or just sightsee along the mighty Mississippi River. The key is timing. If you can avoid the "pushes" that occur around 7-9 AM, Noon-2 PM, 3-4 PM, and 7-9 PM then you can generally get a clearance to fly almost anywhere around the city that you want (this ignores the FedEx "pushes" that occur in the early morning hours).

It is quite possible to fly around the edges of the city and remain clear of the Class B. All of the area's general aviation airports are outside the Class B surface area that immediately surrounds MEM. Millington (NQA) does have Class D airspace of its own.

A popular route is to fly over the Mississippi River to view theNorthern end of Memphis' downtown (click for larger image) downtown skyline. Pilots should be aware of DeWitt Spain airport's traffic pattern which is over the river just north of downtown and of the aforementioned Class B airspace. The Class B floor is at 1800 feet MSL over the river in the downtown area and the Class B surface area begins just east of the river.

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                                         Last updated on Sunday, September 16, 2001