Western US Expansion
The Western US Expansion encompasses the Seattle, Oakland, Salt Lake City, Denver and Albuquerque ARTCCs. It available separately to the Los Angeles ARTCC (ZLA) primary coverage area. The total coverage area can be seen on the Operating Hours and Service Area page.
Here are the towered airports for the Western US Expansion:
- KABQ: Albuquerque International Sunport Airport
- KAMA: Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport (added 7/7/17)
- KASE: Aspen-Pitkin County Airport
- KDEN: Denver International Airport
- KEGE: Eagle County Regional Airport
- KELP: El Paso International Airport (added 7/7/17)
- KFMN: Four Corners Regional Airport (added 7/7/17)
- KGEG: Spokane International Airport
- KMRY: Monterey Regional Airport
- KOAK: Metropolitan Oakland International Airport
- KPDX: Portland International Airport
- KPHX: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
- KRNO: Reno/Tahoe International Airport
- KSAC: Sacramento Executive Airport
- KSEA: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
- KSFO: San Francisco International Airport
- KSJC: Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport
- KSLC: Salt Lake City International Airport
- KSMF: Sacramento International Airport
- KYKM: Yakima Air Terminal
The Hidden Gem for Bug Smashers: Full Enroute Coverage within 5 ARTCCs
The Western US Expansion provides coverage through the entire lateral limits of the Seattle, Oakland, Salt Lake City, Denver and Albuquerque ARTCCs. These facilities contain extraordinary terrain, weather and a massive list of interesting airports.
This additional service means you can fly VFR or IFR from any airport to any other airport and receive VFR or IFR service.
There are some limitations, though:
- Towered airports other than the one listed above are effectively non-towered. Pick up your IFR clearance on the ground with Approach or the overlying Center, then use the published CTAF for that field to self-announce your departure, then call us in the air. You can also depart VFR and activate your IFR in the air.
- TRACONs (approach/departure frequencies) are available where they cover a towered airport listed above. This means Albuquerque, Amarillo, Aspen, Chinook (Yakima), Denver, El Paso, Norcal, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Spokane approaches are supported. If your selected airport is within an unsupported TRACON, call the overlying Center instead. For example, since Boise (KBOI) is not yet a supported towered airport, Boise Approach is not available. You would call Salt Lake City Center on the nearest published Center frequency on the Low Enroute IFR chart to pick up your clearance.
Note: Due to the real world placement of radio transmitters, you may not be able to reach some of the ATC facilities while on the ground. In such cases, depart VFR (or IFR with a simulated clearance) and call us in the air.
This allows pilots to access more than 2500 additional airports throughout the Western Expansion area!
When will this be available?
The Western US Expansion is available now. The list of towered airports is anticipated to grow during 2017, so check back here regular for updates.
How much does it cost?
See the pricing page.
How do I add the Western US Expansion to my PilotEdge subscription?
See the Account Center to change your subscription.
Are you going to add more towered airports to the list?
Yes. Amarillo, El Paso and Farmington were added on 7/7/17. More airports will be added throughout 2017 and 2018 as we complete their construction within our system. Here is the road map showing all of the planned airports for the Western US coverage area.
Why not make this part of the standard subscription and just increase the price across the board?
The primary coverage area has top-down coverage of every towered airport within the Los Angeles ARTCC. The new airspace operates differently, covering a selection of airports across 5 ARTCCs. These are fundamentally different offerings that may appeal to different types of users. As such, we didn’t want to force a price increase for existing users, particularly if they have no intention of using the new airspace.
Also, the Western US airspace is being staffed independently of the existing airspace, which increases the underlying cost of the service.
If I don’t activate the Western US Expansion for my account, does my subscription cost increase?
No, the cost remains the same. However, you will not be permitted to operate your aircraft within the lateral bounds of the Western US Expansion area while flying on PilotEdge.
Can I fly to/from the ZLA coverage area, to/from the Western US Expansion area?
Yes, if you have a subscription which covers ZLA and the Western US. Otherwise, if you only have a Western US subscription, then you may only overfly ZLA at 14,000ft or above.
I love to fly 737s, A320s and other transport category jets. Should I subscribe to Western US?
Yes. The Western US coverage area will allow you to stretch your legs and visit an impressive list of city pairs with Part 121-compatible airports. If you also subscribe to ZLA, it lets you experience new SIDS and STARs within ZLA and SFO that you otherwise wouldn’t normally use.
I’m a turboprop driver, is the Western US subscription a good option for me?
There are plenty of turboprop flights between relatively nearby city pairs within the expansion area. Examples would be:
There are also flights from the northeast corner of ZLA into the expansion area (KLAS/KVGT/KHND – KSLC/KPHX).
Lastly, the decision to provide Enroute service within the expansion area opens up literally hundreds of additional fields that are perfect for turboprop and piston operations. See the Hidden Gem section above.
I’m a piston driver, is Western US good for me?
This is a good option for piston drivers who are looking for some variety outside of ZLA (the weather in the Rockies and Pacific Northwest poses some challenges that do not generally exist in ZLA).
The addition of the Enroute service within the 5 ARTCC’s (see the Hidden Gem section above) may tip the scales for many piston drivers. The opportunity to fly from a scenic non-towered airport into one of the growing list of towered airports, or even into another non-towered airport on the other side of a mountain range provides for nearly limitless opportunities.
Will the radios work at airports other than the towered fields within the Western US Expansion area?
Yes, you will be able to utilize the CTAFs for any airport and hear other pilots who are on the same frequency and within range.
What happens if I connect to PilotEdge within the Western US Expansion without the required subscription?
The server will not allow you to connect to the network if you don’t have a Western US Expansion subscription. Similarly, if you attempt to fly from outside the area into the Western US Expansion area, your connection will be terminated and you will need to reconnect once you are clear of the area.