Document Information
Version 2
Created 01/01/2016 00:36
Last Updated 11/24/2020 22:32
by Skylar Hutter

Pearson Field (KVUO) is an uncontrolled airport located in Vancouver, WA, on the north bank of the Columbia River, approximately 3 miles northwest of the Portland International Airport and directly under the final approach course for the ILS to runway 10L at KPDX.

The following procedures provide information on operations at Pearson Field, highlight certain features of the Pearson Field airspace, and explain the responsibility of Portland Tower controllers in regard to Pearson Field.  It is recommended that controllers also familiarize themselves with IFR clearance and approach procedures for Pearson Airport, addressed in training materials for Minor Clearance Delivery/Ground and Minor Approach.

 

I.  Airspace

Pursuant to FAR 93.161, 93.162, a Special Flights Rules Area (SFRA) has been established at Pearson Field.  The SFRA replaces the previous Pearson Field Class D airspace with the same dimensions.  The FAA has issued a Letter to Airmen in connection with the Pearson SFRA.  See https://notams.aim.faa.gov/lta/main/viewlta?lookupid=1395914060330964778.

Portland Tower does not control the Pearson SFRA and has no authority to determine the active runway at Pearson Field (though aircraft should operate in the same direction as KPDX when safe).  A separate squawk code is not needed for VFR aircraft operating in the Pearson SFRA.

In real-world, the CTAF for Pearson Field (Pearson Advisory on 119.0) is monitored by Portland Tower.  This is not simulated on VATSIM by ZSE.

 

II.  Airport Operations

All Traffic Patterns are north of Pearson Field

  • Left-hand pattern for runway 8
  • Right-hand pattern for runway 26

Pearson pattern altitude is 1025' MSL (to remain below Class C base of 1100').

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Portland Tower does not, under any circumstances, authorize or clear VFR or IFR aircraft to taxi, takeoff, or land at Pearson Field.  The field is uncontrolled.

 

III.  Departures and Arrivals

Although not required to do so, some VATSIM pilots may wish to simulate Pearson Field SFRA procedures by making calls to the VATSIM controller handling Portland Tower.  ZSE does not simulate the Pearson Advisory on Portland Tower frequencies.

Departures

Portland Tower controllers do not handle IFR departures from Pearson Field.  Aircraft calling for IFR release should be switched to Portland Approach (Portland Final Approach on 126.9 if on-line in east ops, 124.35 otherwise) or, if Portland Approach is unstaffed, Unicom on 122.8.  See Pearson Field Operations (APP) for further information.

Portland Tower controllers handle VFR departures from Pearson Field as follows:

N738FD:

Pearson Advisory, Skyhawk 738 Foxtrot Delta on the ground at Pearson, ready for departure, northbound.

 

Portland Tower:

Skyhawk 738 Foxtrot Delta, Portland International Airport reporting [current weather and altimeter].  Remain outside the Portland Class Charlie airspace.  [Squawk 1200, maintain VFR at all times.]  Portland departing [west, caution wake turbulence from our departures][east, caution wake turbulence from our arrivals].  [Specific traffic point outs, including any other aircraft in the Pearson SFRA, should also be made.]  Pearson Advisory is on 122.8, frequency change approved.

 

 

Pearson VFR east-bound departures may request the North Bank Transition of the Portland Class Charlie airspace to fly east along the northern bank of the Columbia River (typically at or below 2,500) towards Troutdale Airport and beyond.  Portland Tower may approve this request on the pilot’s initial call, and as with any VFR transition, the aircraft transitioning the Portland Class Charlie should be assigned a unique transponder code and must be squawking mode C.

 

N738FD:

Pearson Advisory, Skyhawk 738 Foxtrot Delta on the ground at Pearson, ready for departure, request North Bank Transition.

 

Portland Tower:

Skyhawk 738 Foxtrot Delta, Portland International Airport reporting [current weather and altimeter].  North Bank Transition approved at or below 2,500.  Squawk 1701.

 

N738FD:

North Bank Transition approved at or below 2,500, squawk 1701.  Copy the numbers.

 

Portland Tower:

Readback correct.  Portland departing [west, caution wake turbulence from our departures][east, caution wake turbulence from our arrivals].  [Specific traffic point outs, including any other aircraft in the Pearson SFRA, should also be made.]  Pearson Advisory is on 122.8, frequency change approved.  Contact Portland Tower this frequency prior to entering the Class Charlie.  Talk to you soon!

 

 

Arrivals

VFR arrivals into Pearson Field may have been handed off from flight following or may have been monitoring 122.8.  IFR arrivals may be on a visual approach or circling to land on the LDA-A instrument approach.  Both are handled the same way, as follows:

N738FD:

Pearson Advisory, Skyhawk 738 Foxtrot Delta is two miles north of Vancouver Lake for landing Pearson.

 

-or-

 

Pearson Advisory, Skyhawk 738 Foxtrot Delta, visual runway 26, circling north of the field.

 

Portland Tower:

Skyhawk 738 Foxtrot Delta, Portland International Airport reporting [current weather and altimeter].  Remain outside the Portland Class Charlie airspace.  Portland departing [west, caution wake turbulence from our departures][east, caution wake turbulence from our arrivals].  [Specific traffic point outs, including any other aircraft in the Pearson SFRA, should also be made.]  Pearson Advisory is on 122.8, frequency change approved.

 

 

Portland Tower controllers may request aircraft working the traffic pattern at Pearson Field call to advise when they have completed their pattern work, but this is optional.

A helpful video on Pearson procedures and the use of Pearson Advisory in the SFRA can be found here:  https://vimeo.com/156044609.