AOPA supports changes to Part 77 obstruction rules

June 21, 2006

AOPA supports changes to Part 77 obstruction rules

Aren't you glad you have an association that stays on top of all of this? The FAA has just released another notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), some 18 pages of changes to the Part 77 regulations for the preservation of navigable airspace and protecting pilots and airports from obstructions.

Here's what you need to know: The rules will help the FAA better protect instrument approaches, AOPA supports the changes and has been involved in this rulemaking process for over a decade, and if you want to comment on the changes, you have until September 11 to do so.

"One of the most significant changes is that the entire regulation is written in plain language and formatted so that it is easier to read," said Heidi Williams, AOPA director of air traffic services.

The proposed regulations would more closely align the "imaginary surfaces" with FAA airport design and instrument approach criteria. That would give the FAA the ability to "identify and study more structures to ensure the integrity of instrument procedures and to maintain traffic capacity."

The FAA could now consider objects that might interfere with navigation or communications signals. Private-use airports with FAA-approved instrument approach procedures would now fall under Part 77 regulations, making it harder for someone to build obstructions near these airports.

June 21, 2006