AOPA opposes request to restrict more airspace in Indiana

November 7, 2007

AOPA opposes request to restrict more airspace in Indiana

By AOPA ePublishing staff

How much protected airspace does the military need to blow up a variety of ordnance? The Navy says its one-half-mile-radius restricted area (R-3404) in Crane, Ind., that extends nearly half a mile into the sky is no longer big enough.

AOPA believes the Navy should develop a way to contain blast fragments within R-3404's current size.

The Navy is proposing to increase R-3404 to a one-nautical-mile radius, extending up to 4,100 feet msl. It claims the extra airspace is needed to separate aircraft from blast fragments generated when disposing of ordnance at the Naval Support Activity Crane's Demolition Range.

But doing so would restrict low-altitude access to one of three victor airways connecting Evansville, Ind., and Indianapolis. When the restricted area is active, which would be daily, according to the proposal, low-altitude access to V-305 would be shut off.

AOPA is opposing the expansion because of the safety implications involved with restricting access to V-305. That's because V-305 has the lowest minimum en route altitude, which means it is sometimes the only viable airway between the two cities during icing season.

The Department of Transportation is seeking comments on the Navy's proposal by Dec. 7. AOPA will be providing comments against the proposal and encourages members to do the same. Identify your comments with: FAA Docket No. FAA-2007-28632 and Airspace Docket No. 07-ASW-3.

Comments can be sent to:

U.S. Department of Transportation
Docket Operations, M-30
1200 New Jersey Ave., SE
West Building Ground Floor, Rm W12-140
Washington, D.C., 20590-001

November 7, 2007