Local traffic area

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The local traffic area or TMA (Terminal Area), Terminal Control Area (TCA) or Terminal Maneuvering Area (TMA), is the immediate airspace around airports with a control zone (CTR) (in Germany airspace D (CTR) ). The air traffic control uses this zone to the control and monitoring of arrivals and departures.


The local traffic areas protect the incoming and outgoing IFR traffic (instrument flight) from VFR traffic ( visual flight traffic ) by replacing the uncontrolled G airspace with the controlled E airspace . This airspace requires the observance of stricter weather minima for VFR traffic . The size of a TMA depends on various factors. The height limits are to be defined in units of 100 or 1000 feet (ft) according to the guidelines of the ICAO :

The lower limit is either 1000 ft Above ground level (AGL) (TMA sector A), 1700 ft AGL (TMA sector B) or 2500 ft AGL (TMA sector C). Since the controlled airspace (airspace E) in Germany normally begins at 2500 ft AGL, there are no C-sectors of the terminal areas here. The respective Area Control Center (ACC) is responsible for air traffic control , where at least one workstation is set up for arrival and departure control.

TMAs are shown in blue on the ICAO map 1: 500,000.

See also