Tampa ATC Reopens Popular "Bridge Corridor"
October 19, 2006 — Pilots transiting the Tampa Class B airspace eastbound or westbound are once again able to obtain clearance to pass directly over the Tampa International Airport via the well established "bridge corridor" as new procedures were approved this past week by the FAA. The corridor, used for more than 40 years by VFR pilots, was closed temporarily in September until EAA efforts helped to reestablish it.
Pilots may also receive a specific air traffic instruction to transit the airspace. According to the FAA, "Clearance shall be requested via Tampa Approach Control prior to entering the Class B airspace using the appropriate frequency for the sector from which the pilot is entering, and with sufficient advance notice that ATC can respond adequately.
- Eastbound aircraft will be required to cross directly over the Tampa International Airport Runway 9/27 at either 2,500 or 3,000 feet MSL.
- Westbound aircraft will be required to cross directly over the Tampa International Airport Runway 9/27 at either 3,500 or 4,000 feet MSL. This procedure becomes effective 0001, October 12, 2006."
- Key east/west bridge corridor VFR visual check points are: "Campbell Bridge" and "River-East"
Instead of allowing the Bridge corridor flights to continue while the FAA improved the internal controller-to-controller procedure, FAA elected to close the corridor in early September, leaving general aviation pilots no choice than to fly around the Tampa Class B airspace into the congested area just outside of it. EAA contacted Tampa air traffic officials and urged the corridor to reopen, and encouraged Tampa-area pilots to contact those officials to support and reopen the Bridge corridor and procedures.