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Don Desfosse

Changed rules for large/heavy aircraft

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Also known as, "Redefining Obesity"  ;D



The FAA has released a notice addressing the reclassification of the heavy category of aircraft to become aligned with the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) heavy classification.


To be considered heavy under the new policy, aircraft must have a maximum certificated takeoff weight (MTOW) of at least 300,000 lbs. The old rule to be classified as a heavy was an MTOW of at least 255,000 lbs.


Boeing 757s, both -200 and -300 models, are therefore all classified under the large category, and heavy will no longer be part of any 757 aircraft callsigns.


Radar controllers:

For the purposes of wake turbulence separation, the 757 (again, both the -200 and -300 series) is a large aircraft when it is trailing behind another aircraft. When it is ahead of another aircraft, it is separated as a 757 (not a large nor heavy; the 757 has its own classification). If you don't know what that means, then you probably need to check out 7110.65T Chapter 5-5-4.


So, in essence, this should actually make our lives easier, as we no longer have to worry about whether a B757 is heavy or not; they are all large. 5-5-4 remains unchanged, so B757s are now all B757s, not either B757s or heavies depending on the model....

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