COPA Migration 2021 Flight Planning and Arrival

Hi folks,

To avoid the mix of non-related topics found in the main COPA Migration 2021 thread, I thought I’d open up a new thread for those wishing to get details for flying into KSDL or share any helpful advice.

Admin Edit:

COPA Migration 2021 - Arrial Info aka: Notice to Cirrus Pilots (NOTCP) here:
COPA Migratiaon 2021 NOTICE TO CIRRUS PILOTS.pdf (2.1 MB)

Here is the “One Page” for the event:

It appears the Scottsdale Airports has the main stuff we need to know for approach (frequencies, etc), and noise abatement procedures are here:

Are there any locals or frequent visitors to KSDL that have their own take on this or any further suggestions? Also, I’m a VFR pilot (working on IFR), so any VFR-related tips would be welcome as well!

As for FBOs, the prices of avgas are totally unreasonable for all of them IMO, but Ross Aviation had the lowest prices (Foreflight is quoting $6.03 per gallon, with another FBO at almost at $8/gal!), so I chose to park with them. I called up Ross, let them know of my expected arrival time, and they put my plane in their system with expected arrival/departure times, so I’m good to go. They were quite nice/helpful on the phone, so I’m looking forward to parking with them.

They are having COPA event pilots park at the Ross Aviation South location on the southwest side of the airport at taxiway A4. This is apparently right next to Southwest Aero, where the Thursday maintenance class & barbecue will be held, so that’s convenient.

I received the following details about parking and how their addressing Migration parking/traffic:

  • Hangar space is based on availability at the time of arrival.
  • On arrival, we will have someone greet your aircraft and put an arrival slip into the window- On this slip will list your departure date/time. The date written on your window tag will reflect how your aircraft is stacked on the ramp. If for any reason you need to leave before your scheduled departure time, please call the front desk at (480) 948-2400. Any ASAP requests for departure will require a 2 hour minimum to get into a departure spot as we are anticipating a very busy weekend here in SDL.
  • Ross Aviation will be providing 2 wooden chocks for each aircraft. However, we are encouraging pilots to bring their own set of chocks for their stay with us.
  • Ross Aviation will not be able to do fuel Top off’s until day of departure due to expansion causing fuel spills. The airport authority will fine Ross Aviation for spills caused by early top offs. Any top offs requested on arrival will need to be left down 2” for fuel expansion or will need to be completed on departure day. We anticipate a heavy departure day on Sunday which may also result on long fueling waits for last minute top-off requests.
  • There will also be a barbeque hosted by Southwest Aero on 9/23 for all COPA pilots to enjoy as well as a cirrus technician that will be speaking. The barbeque will be located at our main office location in the hangar by the round-about.

I don’t have any chocks (need to get some now that I think of it), so keep that in mind that there may be limited availability.

I hope that helps! If you haven’t called Ross yet, I’d recommend doing so to ensure a more efficient arrival.

See you soon!


As a first time COPA Migration attendee and first timer to KSDL, I really appreciate this thread. The info provided is invaluable and I’m anxious to see if anybody else will be able to provide any more details or advice about Ross, KSDL, or the best tips and suggestions for the Migration.
Can’t wait to meet you all.


Me too - I look forward to meeting you and everyone in person!

See THIS POST on how to create some low cost chocks - that work well - cost effective.


I called Ross and asked what non-Cirri arrivals should do. The CSR said to tell Ground Control that you’re with the COPA group and they’ll direct you to the appropriate place adjacent to A4 where a follow-me truck will direct you further.

We’ll see!

VFR or IFR, if you’ve never been there (or even if you have but not recently) many folks (me included) think that Scottsdale Airport can be difficult to pick out visually, especially from the west. I suggest using ForeFlight’s 3D View or Google Earth / Maps to survey the area before your flight and make note of landmarks (e.g.; the highway) to help you find the airport.

It’s a single-runway airport so unlike most airports it doesn’t take up a big chunk of real estate.



Attached are the Notice to Cirrus Pilots (NOTCP) for Migration.

Please see the following Document:

COPA Migratiaon 2021 NOTICE TO CIRRUS PILOTS.pdf (6.6 MB)

Key notes:

COPA BBQ will be held at the Round-a-bout (A Shuttle stop) outside of ROSS HQ and run only Thursday 11am - 3pm

Main FBO desk for COPA members will be out Ross South Noted as FBO Desk.

Migration Westin Kierland Shuttle Schedule:

  • Wednesday : Noon to 6PM
  • Thursday: 9 AM to 6PM
  • Friday: 7AM to Noon
  • Sunday: 6AM to 3PM

Here is the one Page:

Please let me know if there are any questions.


We are looking forward to our first Migration as we just purchased our G6! Of course, last minute alternator problem (in the shop at Wells) but have back up SWA tickets just in case for Wednesday.

See you there and safe travels!
John and Debbie Owen
KC area


I’ll be flying VFR (hopefully with flight following).

I haven’t decided yet whether to cross the Sierras and fly down towards SDL from the north, or do the end run down by Palmdale and come up from the south. Flight times are similar, but one bonus to the northern approach is that it’s pretty simple from an airspace standpoint.

If conditions favor the end-run and approach from the south, can anyone offer any pointers on preferred routes through the complex airspace that cause a minimum of consternation for pilots and ATC? I have reviewed the FLY and the East/West Route surface transition — just wondering whether one of those works particularly well (or particularly poorly), and whether ATC seems to have a preference.

If I fly the end-around route I fly KSTS-PMD-TNP that cuts the corners of the Restricted Areas.
I am planning on KSTS-KLVK (pick-up) BTY-DIR at 17,000’ or 17,500’

True, coming from the north is downright simple. That is normally the way I go if I have a choice. Just like the scenery better.

If you come from the west be advised there is a SATR (Special Air Traffic Rule) north and south of Luke AFB. It is sorta like a simple class C airspace. If you are IFR or on Flight Following it will be a seamless transition. If you are not then just call Luke, they will issue a squawk. Or drift a little north and avoid it all together.

Thanks, Scott, your planned route (via BTY) was pretty similar to the route I mapped out. Are you expecting to transit the Saline MOA?

Roger, thanks for the tip on the SATR area. I was planning to try to avoid it entirely, but it sounds like it’s not too bad if you’re in contact? I may still try to cut north of it. It seems like it should be possible to stay under Gladden MOA, which would make that fairly easy.

Yeah, staying just a tiny bit north takes the SATR and Phoenix TRACON out of the equation. Just call into SDL from the NW and they will sequence you in.

The SATR guys could not be more accommodating. But if you are talking with them and they know you are headed to SDL they will work you down early on the south side of DVT under the Bravo. Not that this is a problem but you can stay higher longer the other way. That can be more comfortable in hot bumpy conditions.

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I believe there is an error in the NOTCP. The front page states ARR & DEP procedures are in effect from (CDT).

IIRC Scottsdale is on MST, which is 2 hours behind CDT.

Also, the Unicom frequency is listed, but Ross says they use the ARINC 129.7.

Looking forward to kicking things off at the Cabana!

This is my first COPA migration, so I’m quite eager to put faces to the names I routinely see on this forum. I’m filing IFR from NorCal but I read somewhere that preferred form is to go VFR so I’ll cancel when I get close. But here is my question.

When coming from the west I see Luke AFB is along my most direct route and their class D comes close to hugging the hills to the west. Also, there is a SATR on pretty much all sides, so you gotta fly through that, which means you gotta establish two way communication with, I’m guessing, Luke. Should I be confident that such contact will be assured? And will they likely tell me to stay out of D, which is to say, to hug the hills to the west at 2,900 feet?

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Your a better at proofreading than me and the group.

Times are in Local time to AZ.

The FBO freq should not be needed however nice to have as a backup.

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You can expect a hand off from Alb Center to Luke. If you remain IFR at least until you are communicating with Luke automatically as they handle the entire west side of the valley during their operating hours.

Fixed and substituted the pdf in the original post above, also linked below.

COPA Migratiaon 2021 NOTICE TO CIRRUS PILOTS.pdf (6.6 MB)

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Just because this makes my head hurt: note that the times are shown in MST — not MDT. So, right now, MST is the same as PDT. (Most of AZ doesn’t use Daylight Saving Time — they are always on MST…)

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Ya know, none of this would be an issue if we would just list all times in GMT/UTC. It’s not like we’re a bunch of folks who never use GMT for anything… :grinning:

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