April 24, 2003
AOPA has filed formal comments opposing the proposed creation of full-time military operations areas (MOAs) near Townsend, Georgia.
"The impact on general aviation traffic is significant," said Heidi Williams, manager of air traffic for AOPA. "The eastern boundary of the MOA would overlie Interstate 95, a major VFR flyway, and several Victor airways. It also imposes a barrier to both VFR and IFR aircraft transiting the airspace and threatens the economic viability of the underlying general aviation airports."
The military currently activates three temporary MOAs (Quick Thrust, Gator, and Fort Stewart) for a maximum of 28 days annually, but it wants to make the special-use airspace (SUA) permanent. The proposal calls for establishment of the Coastal MOA airspace complex from 300 feet above ground level to 18,000 feet msl and charted as active from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local five days a week and other times by notam.
According to military officials, they do not believe the proposal has any impact on VFR operations since federal aviation regulations do not prohibit VFR aircraft from operating in activated MOA airspace. But AOPA members say it does impact their flying. In a recent membership survey, 73 percent said they deviate around MOAs because of the frequent lack of real-time information about military flight activity.
Collaboration between the German government, academia, and airplane manufacturers may make future aircraft cabins more protective of pilots and passengers. The Safety Box team plans to apply auto racing technology to general aviation.
A father and his 14-year-old son were helping another pilot ferry a newly purchased aircraft from California to their home field in Virginia. The three made an overnight stop in Albuquerque before flying on to Illinois for fuel. But shortly after they parked the aircraft in Marion, Ill., they were approached by as many as 18 uniformed and non-uniformed law enforcement officers who came running toward the airplane.
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