WFC - Special Procedures - KHPN
White Plains is a fairly busy New York City area reliever airport. Mostly, it’s just like any other busy towered airport. But there’s a few little tricks here that are useful to know.
Arrivals - New York Approach & HPN
HPN has an atypical procedure for a Class D airport. Rather than just calling up the Tower as usual, pilots need to contact New York Approach first. It’s challenging to understand how non-local pilots might come to know this as it’s not in the Chart Supplements or in the Airport/Facilities Directories. (A/FD).
The call up is the usual who are you, where are you, and what you want. E.g., “New York Approach, Archer 4008Xray five north of Carmel at two thousand five hundred landing Sierra.” (with Sierra just being the current ATIS. They’ll know you mean HPN.) Alternatively you could just say 15 north of White Plains, or West of, or whatever.)
Generally, within about 15 – 20 miles of HPN, use 126.4 for New York Approach. If further out, there may be other frequencies in which case you’ll need to go to your charts to sort out best way to get to NY Approach. Possibly by checking out NRST airport info and looking for approach control frequencies. If you’re out to the northwest a bit, you can perhaps try 132.75. (Say out past SWF or POU.)
Now of course, if you can’t get New York for some reason… radio weak or something. You can always just call up HPN before entering the Class D and see if they can help you out. Maybe say something like “Bugsmasher 123 over Carmel, landing Sierra, can’t raise approach.” Then they’ll tell you what to do. May give you a squawk code, maybe not.
In any case, it is a Class D so don’t bust the airspace without having contact / permission. And remember that KHPN is under the outer ring of the NYC Class B. So you have to pay attention to that on both climb out and arrival.
* Navigation is completely your responsibility of course. Some pilots, once the airport is clearly identified, might choose to use the Course To feature on the GPS to light up an extended runway centerline, which can help in sort out pattern work or VFR intercept angles. It may also be especially useful when landing 29 or 34 late in the day during the summer, when you might end up on an approach close to directly into a setting sun.
* Don’t be surprised if you are asked to extend downwind, or possibly make a 360 degree turn or other maneuvers for separation. (Or perhaps get told, “go direct to the numbers.”) Or have the tower call your base. It’s a busy place, so all this -and more – can and does happen.