Castle Airport Operational Changes

The following are the proposed guidelines for operations at Castle Airport as coordinated between the FAA and Castle Airport Management and discussed and agreed to by over 70 local pilots attending a Town hall meeting at Castle on March 16th.

  • Runway 31 will be the designated calm wind runway (wind 5 knots or less). When tailwind for 31 exceeds 5 knots, runway 13 will used.

  • Takeoffs and landings in a direction opposite to the runway being used are not permitted.

  • Straight in approaches to either runway are not permitted except for aircraft on a published instrument approach and receiving an IFR clearance or VFR radar traffic advisories from NORCAL Tracon during a practice instrument approach. Aircraft on downwind in the pattern will yield the right of way to aircraft making straight in approaches.

  • Two way radio communications are required at all times except with approval from the airport manager. Pilots will make position reports and state intentions in accordance with the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) and avoid all unnecessary transmissions.

  • Small aircraft downwind 1000?AGL (1189?MSL). 45 degree approach to downwind, aim for the prison and downwind track to be above the north eastern boundary of the prison.

  • Large and turbine powered aircraft downwind 1500?AGL (1689?MSL). 45 degree approach to downwind, aim for the prison and downwind track to be at least ? mile northeast of the prison boundary.

  • Experimental/Exhibition/Surplus Military Aircraft pattern. Straight in approach to either runway at 1500?AGL (1689?MSL) to a point, overhead the runway followed by a break to a downwind (large/turbine powered aircraft). These aircraft may make a low approach or go around at the minimum safe airspeed. ?Show off? low passes are not permitted.

    Note: These aircraft may make a straight in IFR approach or a normal 45 deg pattern entry also.

  • Small aircraft are expected to yield the right of way to larger/faster aircraft in the interest of safety, however all FAA right of way regulations apply.

  • For safety, a maximum of 5 aircraft are to be permitted in the VFR traffic pattern at any one time. Any aircraft approaching on the 45 deg entry should depart the pattern on a 45 deg track if it there are too many aircraft on downwind or conditions are unsafe.

  • Touch and Go landing practice limited to 5 or less aircraft at any one time and 2000? ceiling and 3 miles visibility for safety. For normal arrival and departure, applicable FAA visibility and cloud clearances apply.

  • Surface operations: Taxi in accordance with instructions on AWOS. No intersection takeoffs. Landing aircraft exit the runway as soon as safe and possible. No 180 degree turns on the runway. Aircraft that need to depart in a timely manner such as for IFR clearances or operational reasons may coordinate moving to the head of the line on the radio. Other pilots will be expected to cooperate.

    Scott C. Malta, AAE/CAE
    Airport Manager

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