KSDF - Louisville Standiford Airman's Information Publication
Airman's Information Publication (AIP): Louisville International Airport / Standiford Field (KSDF)
In the southern end of Louisville, Kentucky, inside Indianapolis ARTCC's (ZID's) airspace, lies the Louisville International Airport / Standiford Field (KSDF). Once the star of the sector, KSDF has become the third-busiest airport (behind KIND and KCVG), both in ZID and in the virtual world (vZID). KSDF is a common destination for people traveling to Cincinnati, taking advantage of the lower fares provided by KSDF when compared to the Delta-dominated KCVG. KSDF is also heavily used by the military, but not as as military airfield: Soldiers not living close enough use KSDF to get to and from Fort Knox, which serves as a basic training site for the US Army. KSDF also serves as many international destinations as any class-B airport, although in this case the airline serving those destinations is UPS.
Although not a class-B airport, KSDF has enough going on to warrant a fair number of routes, notes, and procedures. This AIP provides one location for all of the general information that a pilot will need when deciding to fly in to, or out from, KSDF. This AIP, combined with the KSDF page on AirNav, and the sectional and enroute charts from SkyVector, will give you all of the inforamtion required to complete a safe and successful flight!
This document begins by discussing some common scenery problems (or, in this case, the lack thereof), so you see the same thing as everyone else. Next up is a description of the various parking locations available, so you can start (or end) your flight in the same place as the real-world pilots. At this point, you should have enough information to find a good starting point on the ground, so the next section covers the list of ATC positions commonly staffed at this airport. Some quick notes about the airspace are provided for VFR pilots, followed by a list of common runway configurations. This AIP ends with a list of nearby airports, and the preferred routes, for both directions, between those airports and KSDF.
KSDF, with its extreme proximity to the City of Louisville, Churchill Downs (the site of the Kentucky Derby, "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports"), the Ryder Cup at Valhalla Golf Club, Bourbon Country (remember, don't drink and fly!), the Ohio River, and untold miles of Kentucky bluegrass can make for a peaceful flying experience, as long as you have a good scenery package (and you don't fly too close to Fort Knox!). If your scenery does not match what the controller (and other pilots) are using, you may be causing them untold amounts of pain; what you think is a parking spot may be, in reality, an active taxiway. Although there are small differences between sceneries, and controllers have come to expect and compensate for this, you should avoid sceneries that deviate extensively from other scenery packages and the contoller's sector file (which controls what they see on their radar screen).
Real-world KSDF has facilities for all aircraft, and on VATSIM vZID maintains this. Since KSDF accepts all types of aircraft, there is a real-world parking location for everyone; it would be helpful if you used them!
The biggest user of KSDF, by far, is UPS. The UPS ramps cover almost all of the area bounded by runway 35L to the west, runway 11/29 to the north, and runway 35R to the east. Known as " Worldport ", this hub handles almost all express and international packages. Some good videos can be found over at HowStuffWorks' UPS Worldport page.
Not one to be left out, FedEx also has a presence, though small, on the field. The FedEx building and ramp is located west of runway 17R/35L, on taxiway ALFA.
All commercial passenger air carriers park at the airport's only terminal building. The terminal building is divided into two conourses, which you can see on the airport diagram as the two "spurs" that come out from the center of the building. All of the gates are located on the spurs; there are no gates on the central portion of the building. Concourse A, the eastern part of the terminal, serves American, Continental, Delta, and Northwest. Concourse B, the western part of the terminal, serves Frontier, Southwest, United, and US Airways. Of special note is the small building north of Concourse A. This small building used to be terminal gates, and now serves as a convenient out-of-the-way parking location.
All cargo carriers, with the exception of UPS and FedEx (covered above), park at the air cargo building west of the terminal. If you are taxiing to or from the cargo terminal, remember that taxiway B7 is not an option. There is a stretch of non-taxiway ground bewteen B7 and the cargo ramp.
General aviation flights, be they VFR or IFR, park on the general aviation ramp, with its small group of buildings, east of taxiway ECHO. Military flights park nearby, at the Kentucky Air National Guard ramp, located south of the general aviation ramp, accessible off of taxiways ECHO and GOLF.
ASDE-X NOTE: The airport diagram, and the additional remarks section of the KSDF entry on AirNav, state that transponders should be active in mode-C at all times when on a runway or taxiway. In vZID at KSDF, this instruction should be ignored. Transponders should be squawking mode-C normal when in the air and when on or entering an active runway. At all other times, including when taxiing, transponders should be squawking standby.
RAMP NOTE: Ground control does not normally include ramp control. After your clearance, you will typically be advised "PUSH AND START AT YOUR DISCRETION, CONTACT ME WHEN READY TO TAXI". However, in cases of heavy traffic, ground control will take over certain aspects of ramp control to prevent airplanes pushing out into each other.
GATE NOTE: Although the controllers know the location of the individual buildings, controllers do not know the location of specific gates. The controller will most likely ignore the gate portion of the request, instead providing instructions that will get you close enough to your destination to allow you to continue on your own.
TAXI NOTE: As required by FAA Notice N7110.482, if you are receiving taxi instructions from SDF_APP, SDF_TWR, or SDF_GND, instead of receiving basic taxi instructions ("DELTA 123 TAXI TO THE GATE"), your taxi instructions will include the specific route to take ("DELTA 123 TAXI TO THE GATE VIA GOLF PAPA HOTEL"). Please follow the instructions given by the controller. If you are unable, please say so, along with a request explaining why ("DELTA 123 UNABLE, NO AIRPORT DIAGRAM, REQUEST PROGRESSIVE TAXI").
REALLY CONFUSING TAXIWAYS NOTE: The area bounded by the terminal building on the west, runway 11/29 on the south, and runway 17L on the east, is a confusing morass of taxiways which intersect at odd angles and can easily leave you confused and angry. If you are landing on runway 35R or departing on runway 17L, and are going to or from the terminal or the cargo area, study the airport diagram carefully, and be prepared for some detailed, yet confusing, taxi instructions (see the TAXI NOTE above). If you need help, hold position and contact the ground controller for assistance ("DELTA 123 IS CONFUSED, TAXIWAYS ARE MESSED UP, REQUEST PROGRESSIVE TAXI").
RUNWAY 17R/35L NOTE: At either end of runway 17R/35L is a turnaround area. If your rollout takes so long that you can not turn off onto the FOXTROT, GOLF, or one of the BRAVO taxiways, you will have to use the turnaround area to reverse direction, back-taxi down the runway, and exit at the first available taxiway. Also, be aware that the turnaround areas are still part of the runway environment; you have not cleared the runway until you are on a proper taxiway. Finally, please note that the standard departure point for runway 17R/35L is taxiway BRAVO. If you wish to use the extra runway length by taxiing through the turnaround area, you must make this request before entering the active runway.
The following positions serve KSDF and are regularly-staffed:
The following positions serve KSDF, but are not normally staffed:
TIME NOTE: When you are deciding to fly into or out of KSDF, and you are checking to see who is online, be aware: As per vZID policy, any controller who signs on to a position must man said position for at least 1 hour, and must announce closing at least 10 minutes in advance.
KSDF is a class-C field, whose airspace covers up to 4,500 feet MSL. The outermost ring of the airspace extends down to either 1,700 feet or 2,200 feet. The inner ring of the airspace has a slice cut out of its north-east section to provide airspace for Bowman Field (KLOU). No SVFR flights are allowed at KSDF (although they are at KLOU).
Being a class-C field, you must establish communications with SDF_APP (or IND_CTR if SDF_APP is not online) before entry, or before takeoff if you are departing from KSDF. The rules for flying VFR in class-C airspace are important to remember for pilots flying into Bowman Field (KLOU), which sits under KSDF's class-C airspace. The rules are also important to remember for anyone flying VFR along the Ohio River (a good flight to take if you have the scenery), as the river runs close enough to KSDF that some parts are in class-C airspace as low as 1,700 feet MSL.
The airspace covered by SDF_APP bumps up against the approach airspace for Cincinnati (KCVG). If all of the approaches were staffed, and your crusing altitude was low enough, you could fly from Louisville to Cincinnati, and from there to Indianapolis (KIND) or Dayton (KDAY), entirely within approach control.
The airspace around KSDF includes a number of areas that should be avoided by all pilots. Pilots are advised to fly safe by remaining on published VFR (V- and T-) and IFR (J- and Q-) routes. If you are on a published route, then you will always be kept clear of prohibited and restricted areas, and will be kept clear of most MOAs. Although restrictions on these areas may not be enforced by vZID, it is advised that you remain clear of the restricted airspace anyway. vZID ATC know where the restricted airsapce is located, and will be happy to vector you away from and around it.
MOA NOTE: Although it is not forbidden for civilian pilots to fly through MOAs, extreme caution must be taken when traversing them. Even if you are an IFR flight, or a VFR flight receiving flight following services, with or without TCAS, those services may still not be enough to keep you clear of all military traffic. The military use aircraft which are capable of rapid changes in speed, heading, and altitude, such that a controller-issued traffic alert or TCAS notification may come too late to be of any use. Pilots flying VFR through the area are advised to obtain flight following services, at least as long as you are in the MOA, to ensure you have some controller attention. It is also advised that you obtain the current usage status of the MOA from ATC well before entry, so that any reroutes may be planned and executed well before MOA entry.
Directly to the south of KSDF, almost touching the outermost class-C ring, lie R3704A and R3704B, probably better-known as Fort Knox. The restricted area is bordered by V5-513 to the east, V178 to the south, V49 to the west, and V4 to the north. At its extremes, the restricted areas cover surface to 20,000 feet, and are active from 0600 (local time) to 2400.
Approximately 50 NM north of SDF lie the JPG A, B, C, and D MOAs. The MOAs are bounded by V128 to the north, T213 to the east, V47 to the south, and V171 to the west. The MOAs are active from 0800 (local time) to 2300, covering 500 ft AGL up to (but not including) 6000 MSL, except for JPG C, which goes up to (but not including) FL180. There are two routes running through these MOAs. V53 runs through JPG A, but it is usable at and above 6000. V51 runs through the JPG A and B MOAs, making it essentially unusable between DECEE and ABB, unless you are willing to traverse the MOA.
On the eastern end of the JPG MOAs lie R3403A and R3403B. The restricted areas are bounded by T213 to the east, V47 to the south, V51 to the west, and V128 to the north. As it's extremes, the restricted areas cover surface to 43,000 feet, affecting both VFR and IFR pilots. The restricted areas are active as early as 0630 (local time) and as late as 2400.
KSDF determines the runways in use according to a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that accounts for both the winds and the time of day. Runway operations are decided, in accordance with wind direction, wind strength, and traffic levels, using the following list (lower-numbered entries are preferred over higher-numbered entries):
- Arrival runway 17L; departure runways 17L and 17R
- Arrival and departure runways 17L and 17R
- Arrival runways 35L and 35R; departure runway 35R
- Arrival and departure runways 35L and 35R
- Arrival and departure runway 29
Noise Abatement / Contraflow Advisory
KSDF is in the process of being slowly absorbed by the City and suburbs of Louisville. This can be best seen using Google Maps . From this view, it seems like the only way to placate the masses is to have flights fly north into the airport, and south out of it. Can this be done? Like **** it can!
Between 2200 and 0700 local time, wind-permitting, all flights into KSDF will land on runway 35R, while at the same time all flights out of KSDF will depart runway 17R. This procedure is known as contraflow. When contraflow is active, and there is opposite-direction traffic, you will be advised by the tower controller ("DELTA ONE TWO THREE, COMPANY TRAFFIC ARRIVING, OPPOSITE DIRECTION ON PARALLEL RUNWAY"). If you end up in a situation where contraflow is active, and there is opposite-direction traffic, use excessive caution. Do not move into the path of the opposite-direction aircraft, either by turning into it, or by failing to correct for crosswind. Inbound aircraft will either be using the localizer, or will be on a visual approach, and will have a firm ground reference. As a departing aircraft, you will likely have no such reference. Remember to aviate, navigate, and then communicate!
Although, in driving times, KSDF is at least an hour away from any other major airport, in flying times, KSDF is located close to many major airports located just one ARTCC away. The best examples of this are Chicago and Atlanta, major airports located in neighboring ARTCCs. KSDF is also located close to vZID's only class-B airport, KCVG. To maintain an orderly flow of traffic between these fields, vZID has negotiated agreements between the neighboring Centers, which include lists of preferred routings between KSDF and airports in neighboring Centers.
Listed below are major airports, and the preferred routes to file when you are flying (in either direction) between KSDF and the major airport. These routes will allow your flight to adhere to all applicable Letters of Agreement, as well as avoiding restricted areas. If your departure/arrival airport is not listed below, check the FAA Air Traffic Control System Command Center (ARCSCC) National Flight Data Center 's (NFDC) Preferred Routes Database before creating a route of your own. You can get the current airport diagram; as well as the latest departure, arrival, and approach plates; for all U.S. airports from AirNav by clicking on the airport name. If an airport has a vZID AIP, or other source of consolidated information, a link will be provided.
- KATL - Atlanta Hartsfield :
To KATL: File the DERBY CITY1 departure to BWG for the the ROME3 or ERLIN5 (RNAV) arrival.
To KSDF: RNAV flights, file the SUMMT 4departure to VXV for the DARBY3 arrival.
Non-RNAV flights, file the ATLANTA5 departure to NOTWO, then via J43/J91 to VXV for the DARBY3 arrival.
- KBNA - Nashville :
To KBNA: File the DERBY CITY1 departure to MYS for the HEHAW5 arrival.
To KSDF: Request radar vectors to LVT for the DARBY3 arrival.
- KCLE - Cleveland :
To KCLE: File the DERBY CITY1 departure to CVG, then direct DQN for the ZABER1 arrival. Specify a cruising altitude at or below FL330.
To KSDF: Request radar vectors to APE for the REDSTONE1 arrival.
- KCLT - Charlotte :
To KCLT: File the DERBY CITY1 departure to LVT, then direct VXV for the SHINE5 or JOHNS1 (RNAV) arrival.
To KSDF: File the BOBCAT2 or HARAY4 (RNAV) departure to VXV for the DARBY3 arrival.
- KCMH - Port Columbus :
To KCMH: File the DERBY CITY1 departure to CVG, then direct ROD for the GUNNE1 arrival.
To KSDF: There are no SIDs available for KCMH. Request radar vectors to MXQ, then direct CVG for the REDSTONE1 arrival.
- KCVG - Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky International :
— KCVG has an AIP available from vZID.
To KCVG: Request vectors to SARGO, for the MOSEY or SARGO (RNAV) arrival.
To KSDF: Request vectors to join V5, from CVG to IIU.
- KDAY - James M Cox Dayton International :
To KDAY: RNAV flights, request radar vectors to IIU, then take T213 to RID, then V12 to DQN.
Non-RNAV flights, request radar vectors to ABB, then take V51 to SHB, then V12 to DQN.
To KSDF: Request vectors to RID. RNAV flights, take T213 to IIU.
Non-RNAV flights, take V12 to SHB, then V51 to IIU.
• Be aware, the non-RNAV route to/from KDAY traverses the JPG A and JPG B MOAs. See the Airspace Notes section, including the MOA Note.
- KDCA - Reagan National :
To KDCA: File the DERBY CITY1 departure to HYK, then direct BULEY, then via J526 to BKW for the ELDEE4 (RNAV) arrival.
NOTE: The current LoA also makes the non-RNAV FINKS STAR available, but the FINKS STAR no longer exists. Non-RNAV pilots are advised to use the WZZRD2 STAR.
To KSDF: There are no SIDs available for KDCA. Request radar vectors to BRV, then via J37 to GVE, then via J42 to FOUNT, then direct LOZ for the DARBY3 arrival.
- KDTW - Detroit Metro :
To KDTW: File the DERBY CITY1 to CVG, then direct DQN for the MIZAR3 arrival.
Specify a cruising altitude that is at or below FL330.
To KSDF: File the ROSEWOOD2 departure to CHOOT, then direct APE for the REDSTONE1 arrival.
- KIAD - Washington Dulles :
To KIAD: File the DERBY CITY1 to HYK, then direct HVQ.
NOTE: The current LoA requires that pilots fly the JANSEN arrival, which no longer exists. Pilots are advised to use either the ROYIL2 or the SHNON2 (RNAV) STAR.
To KSDF: File the CAPITAL7 departure to GVE, then via J42 to FOUNT, then direct LOZ for the DARBY3 arrival.
- KIND - Indianapolis International :
— KIND has an AIP available from vZID.
To KIND: Request radar vectors to ABB, then via V51 to DECEE for the DECEE3 arrival.
To KSDF: Request radar vectors to SHB, then via V51 to IIU.
- KMCI - Kansas City :
To KMCI: File the DERBY CITY1 departure to PXV, then via J78/J112 to FAM, then via J98 to SGF for the TYGER arrival.
NOTE: Although the current LoA mentiones TYGER5 by number, it is out-of-date (TYGER6 is current), so pilots are advised to fly the TYGER6 arrival.
To KSDF: File the RACER3 departure to SGF, then via J98 to FAM, then via J78/J112 to PXV for the CHERI2 arrival.
- KMDW - Chicago Midway :
To KMDW: RNAV flights, file the DERBY CITY1 departure to SHB, then direct OKK for the FISSK1 arrival.
Non-RNAV flights, file the DERBY CITY1 departure to BVT for the BOILER2 arrival.
To KSDF: File the CICERO4 or MIDWAY7 departure to EON, then direct DNV, then direct TTH for the CHERI2 arrival.
- KMEM - Memphis :
To KMEM: File the DERBY CITY1 departure to BWG for the WLDER5 or LTOWN4 (RNAV) arrival.
To KSDF: File the MEMPHIS7 departure to MAW, then direct PXV for the CHERI2 arrival.
- KORD - Chicago O'Hare :
To KORD: RNAV flights, file the DERBY CITY1 departure to SHB, then direct MZZ for the ROYKO3 arrival.
Non-RNAV flights, file the DERBY CITY1 departure to VHP, then direct OXI for the KNOX4 arrival.
NOTE: The ROYKO3 and the KNOX4 STARs differ greatly from their previous versions. If you file one of the new STARs, be sure it is using the correct route.
NOTE: There is a new STAR for KORD, the WATSN1. The MZZ transition is assigned by ATC only, and may not be filed or requested by the pilot.
To KSDF: File the O'HARE3 departure to EON, then direct DNV, then direct TTH for the CHERI2 arrival.
- KPIT - Pittsburgh :
To KPIT: File the DERBY CITY1 departure to CVG, then direct FLM, then via J134 to HNN, then via J91 to AIR for the WISKE 3arrival.
To KSDF: File the PITTSBURGH9 departure to TVT, then direct APE for the REDSTONE1 arrival.
- KRDU - Raleigh-Durham :
To KRDU: File the DERBY CITY1 to HYK, then direct BKW direct ROA for the SOUTH BOSTON4 arrival.
To KSDF: File the RALEIGH7 departure to FAK, then via J24 to MOL, then via J42 to FOUNT, then direct LOZ for the DARBY3 arrival.
- KRIC - Richmond :
To KRIC: File the DERBY CITY1 departure to HYK, then direct ZIEBR for J42 to MOL. At this time, there are no STARs for KRIC.
To KSDF: File the YEAST1 departure to MOL, then via J42 to FOUNT, then direct LOZ for the DARBY3 arrival.
- KSTL - St. Louis :
To KSTL: File the DERBY CITY1 departure to PXV for the QBALL6 arrival.
To KSDF: File the TURBO5 departure to PXV, for the CHERI2 arrival.
The maintainer of this document would like to thank the following people and sites for their contribution to this AIP:
- Greg Crabb, a vZID controller (on leave of absence as of December 2008), VATSIM CID 889537, who provided descriptions of certain buildings located on the field. His information helps make it possible to know exactly who needs to go where.
- The offices of the Federal Aviation Administration, part of the Department of Transportation. They maintain and publish the vast amount of charts and other documents pertaining to flight and navigation within the United States of America. It is difficult, yes, but definitely worth it.
- SkyVector, for making available virtually all published FAA charts for easy online viewing. SkyVector serves as a perfect integration between Web 2.0 and navigation.
- AirNav, LLC, for taking the large amount of information available on airports, navaids, and airspace fixes, and making said information easy to access and easy to view. AirNav shows that it is possible to make aviation information easy to get, and easy to see.
- The Louisville Airport Authority, for making information available, via their Louisville International airport website, on exactly which commercial passenger airlines park at each terminal concourse.
Disclaimer & Copyright
Although much of this material is taken from sources suitable for real-world navigation, this document is not intended for such use. This document is intended for use by flight simulator pilots on the VATSIM network.
Most of the information in this document is obtained from the governments of the United States, the State of Kentucky, the County of Jefferson, the City of Louisville, and the Lousiville Airport Authority, and is therefore public domain. Those portions of this document which are not public domain are Copyright © 2008 by those who are referred to by the Acknowledgements section above, and by A. Karl Kornel (vZID controller as of October 2008, VATSIM CID 964857), the current maintainer of this document. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.
Since creation as a draft document, this AIP has gone through the following changes:
- 27 January 2009:: Updated routings to KDCA and KCLT.
- 21 December 2008: Document published. Changed the Runway 17R/35L section, replacing the runway 35L/17R turn-around section with the term "back-taxi".
- 15 December 2008: Replaced SID/STAR names with their full names. Added major revision numbers for SIDs/STARs. Updated routings to/from KDCA, KIAD, KMCI, and KORD. Added acknowledgement of Greg Crabb. Updated the Ground Notes section with details of the FedEx ramp, a commercial out-of-the-way parking location, and GA parking.
- 19 October 2008: Added Acknowledgement, Disclaimer & Copyright, and Revision History sections. Minor changes to Scenery Notes. Replaced taxiway letters with phonetic spelling. Removed the few cases where links open in a new window. Fixed some confusing wordage in the first two paragraphs of Airspace Notes. Added a link to the KIND AIP (currently in draft form, but likely to be released before this AIP). Modified the routings from KATL, from KCMH, to/from KDCA, from KDTW, from KIAD, from KMDW, to/from KMCI, from KMEM, from KRDU, from KRIC, and to KPIT. Document still in draft status.
- 4 August 2008: Draft released to vZID controllers for comment.