MEMBER ALERT: AOPA will be closing at 1:45 p.m. Eastern on Dec. 6 and will reopen at 8:30 a.m. Eastern on Dec. 9.
February 2, 2006
The FAA has just announced public meetings to discuss proposed changes to the Phoenix Class B airspace. But the agency has jumped the gun, as far as AOPA and many of the people who fly in the Valley of the Sun are concerned.
"The ad hoc airspace user's group hasn't finished its work yet, but the tracon manager is determined to push ahead," said Heidi Williams, AOPA director of air traffic services. "The user group process has been well proven in other complex airspace, such as the Los Angeles Basin. The desire for a speedy decision may overrun an optimum decision that works well for all users."
In fact, the current proposed airspace design is too complex and seems to be biased against general aviation users, according to some participants in the ad hoc group.
Many airspace boundaries will no longer be aligned with VFR reference points (such as easily identifiable highways) or based on common navigation aids. Other changes would push VFR traffic up against the Superstition Mountains.
"The user group willingly made concessions and agreed that some airspace changes were necessary to accommodate airline operations into Sky Harbor airport," said ad hoc user group participant Stacy Howard, AOPA Western Region representative. "But except for lowering the Class B ceiling to 9,000 feet, the FAA has been unwilling to respond to GA needs and concerns."
Informal public meetings on the proposed Phoenix Class B changes are scheduled for April 25, April 27, and May 2. Written comments must be received by June 3. ( Read the notice.)
"We hope the FAA is more responsive to the input from general aviation at these meetings than they have been so far to the user group process," said Williams.
February 2, 2006
FAA Systems and Airspace,
Class B Airspace,
Pilot Safety and Skills
AOPA is urging Santa Rosa County officials who operate Peter Prince Field in Milton, Fla., to revise proposed rules to eliminate potential conflicts.
The House has passed a bill requiring the TSA to consult stakeholders, including general aviation representatives, before making major changes to security policy.
Your mission: Fly with eight F-15s to the Philippines, rejoin, refuel with air tankers, engage an unknown number of Red Air fighters, refuel again, and then return home to Okinawa. And fly with radio silence up to the first contact with the Red Air fighters.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.