Chino Airport Challenges

It appears that the number of airspace violations and wrong runway landings at Chino Airport is on the rise. As many in the REI community frequent CNO for a meal, to have airplanes serviced, or to visit friends, we wanted to make you aware of the following notice that was put out by the FAA on 1/10/2017.

-Steve W.

Chino Airport Challenges
Notice Number: NOTC6991

Airspace Violations and Wrong Runway Landings are a national level priority safety issue and the FAA is organizing an effort to understand root causes and identify mitigations to be adopted.  Since August 2016, Air Traffic is reporting a significant increase of Chino (KCNO) Class D Airspace violations and wrong runway landings by general aviation aircraft. 

Airspace Violations: Aircraft are entering Class D Airspace without first establishing radio communications required by 14 CFR 91.129 (c).  This Notice is to remind pilots of communications requirements and the following best practices:

Pilots receiving VFR Traffic Advisories from Southern California (SOCAL) TRACON may enter the Class D as it is an ATC responsibility to coordinate required transition and entry.  However, multiple PDs have been observed when pilots contact SCT for advisories while already in or fast approaching the Class D airspace.  Pilots must be in contact with SCT well prior to the boundary in order for an entry to be coordinated for them.  Do not enter Class D Airspace until required communications with ATC are established.

Many of the pilots violating the CNO Class D airspace are departing from Corona Municipal Airport (CNO) which is just south of the Class D boundary.  Pilots departing AJO must be careful not to enter the Class D unless communications with CNO ATCT have been established prior to entry.

Wrong Runway Landings: Getting the airport wrong is mortifying.  But you can be at the right airport and still commit the embarrassing mistake of landing on the wrong runway.  You can always request assistance from the tower if you have any doubt which runway you are landing on.  The tower can attempt to visually confirm you are lined up with the right runway.  The tower might also be able to flash runway lights or turn on REIL lights to assist.  This would be considered Single Pilot Resource Management, using all available resources to get the right outcome.  This is the point of a pilot readback.  It is not just to repeat what you are told, but to stop, mentally process the information so you understand the implications, then restate your understanding back to the controller and cross-checking the numbers before touching down.  After all, that is why the numbers are prominently painted on the runway.  Right? When you do your readbacks by rote, or not do them at all, it’s much easier end up on the wrong runway.

The best way to avoid the wrong-thinking trap is to honor the professionalism that leads to right-thinking.  Use readbacks when given runway assignments.  Cross-check your heading with runway numbers.  Confirm proper airport and runway information with actual data rather than succumbing to knee-jerk affirmation that the runway in front of you is the runway you are anticipating—even hoping for.

It’s said that no matter where you go, there you are.  A good pilot with professional habits will always be at the right airport, on the right runway and on the right frequency.

In summary, it is the responsibility of the pilot in command ensure proper navigation and to meet all FAA communications requirements.  Please review airspace requirements prior to and during all flight to maintain safety and regulatory compliance.

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