CFI Topics

Then and Now

Lesson 4

Up until very recently, the last year or so, sectional charts were not forthcoming in terms of the information needed to contact a controlling agency about a Restricted Area. For example, the frequency tab on the sectional used to tell you that for R- 3401-A the controlling agency was "ZID cntr", with a double asterisk (**). If you were very observant and had exceptionally good near vision you could find the footnote in tiny print and discover that ZID was in fact Indianapolis. The fact that "cntr" is an abbreviation for "Center" was never revealed on the chart. Neither was the apparently (then) secret frequency, 119.55. IFR pilots know all this stuff, but the poor VFR-only Private Pilot was truly left in the dark. It was as if the FAA did not want the common pilot to be able to fly through a restricted area.

In 2005 the FAA became enlightened in this regard and began printing the name of the controlling agency in plain English, and provided the call frequency. It was like a
miracle; it is now so much easier to teach, do, or examine. One only wonders why the information wasn't made directly available years ago. (Now, if the FAA would only print approach control frequencies next to Class B airspace on sectional charts, like they already do for Class C, life would be good.)

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