CYTZ Control Zone Changing to Class “C”

NavCanada will be changing the Control Zone class around CYTZ from class “D” to class “C”. This upgrade in the class means a few things for those of us in/around Toronto, Ontario:

  • Because the control zone extends over the entire downtown core, this will affect pilots who like to do city tours.
  • All flights in the zone must now have a Mode C transponder.
  • The change takes effect October 20, 2011.
Control Zone in Question

This is good news for everyone as it increases the safety of operating in the downtown area. There have been times where I’ve been buzzing around the city with helicopters above and below me, Porter flights departing the airport, and other GA aircraft coming in to the airport to land.

This will ease the burden on the controllers as well.

The impact should be minimal, since as my friend put it: “Ah, well… it’s 2011. All aircraft should have a [mode c] transponder.”

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5 thoughts on “CYTZ Control Zone Changing to Class “C”

  1. I wonder if this change also means they are going to be more strict about what they let you do around the city; maybe it explains a change I have noticed on my last couple city tour flights:

    I used to always be given the instruction to orbit the CN Tower clock-wise, staying north of the shore (they seemed cool with that meaning you would get pretty close to the CN tower staying south of it, basically between it and the shore… but now the instruction doesn’t include an orbit direction, and they want you north of the CN Tower at all times… this has been the case on my past 2 city tours this month.
    I don’t love flying at 2000′ directly over the tall buildings with the big antennas, so this means staying north of the core altogether thus, a city tour is far less cool.

  2. Hey Steve,

    Interesting observation. I’ve done a dozen or so city tours and they’ve never been the same.

    I think I’ve only been asked to orbit the CN Tower in a specific direction once. Otherwise I would usually go clockwise as my passenger was on the right hand side of the plane.

    I have been told to stay north, mainly because of the departures/landings at YTZ (all those Porter planes buzzing around). In which case I just to a square pattern north of the CN Tower.

    I think the main reason for the zone change is to ensure that everyone over the city has altitude reporting transponders on. That way there is that extra level of safety and the controller doesn’t have to mentally remember each aircafts altitude.

  3. thnx for the fast reply.

    Yeah same here as far as doing dozens of city tours over the years…
    I have almost always been based out of YTZ (since mid 90’s), so generally they give you the same instruction (especially when taking off from 26 which is the case 80% of the time…)
    “Right turn out, orbit CN Tower clockwise, stay north of the shore and not above 2000”
    But the recent clearances have consistently changed to delete the CN tower orbits, as I described previously… I will look into it further to see if this is in fact permanently the case.

    P.S. I enjoyed your spreadsheet for the 172 rentals in GTA; I can correct you regarding Island Air currency though – it is 0.5hrs / 30 days

  4. Yes, I did a sightseeing flight on late October and they ask me to stay north of CN tower but did not specified clockwise/counter clockwise. I forgot whether they assigned an attitude to me. For the past few years I was able to stay north of Shoreline except one time maybe two years ago they ask me to stay north of CN. Of course I did not question. :)

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