January 9, 2008
AOPA ePublishing staff
By AOPA ePublishing staff
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. That seems to be the Air Force’s philosophy when it comes to expanding the Bulldog Military Operations Area (MOA) southeast of Atlanta.
For the second time in recent years, the Air Force has proposed expanding the MOA, this time by creating two new MOAs, Bulldog C and Bulldog E, under the existing MOA shelf. Although the new proposal makes some concessions to reduce the impact on three general aviation airports, AOPA is still concerned that expanding the special-use airspace would create safety hazards and have negative economic consequences.
The Air Force initially proposed expanding the MOA, located between Macon, Ga., and Augusta, Ga., in 2005. That proposal was defeated, in part because of the anticipated impact on civil aviation. In its new proposal, the Air Force would move the northern border of Bulldog C about 19 nautical miles to the south to eliminate any direct impact on Burke County Airport. It would also create 3-nm cutouts reaching to 1,500 feet agl to facilitate arrivals, departures, and pattern work at Emanuel County and Millen airports.
But the new MOA expansion proposal would still lower the floor of the MOA from 11,000 feet msl to 500 feet agl and close Victor Route 70 to IFR traffic when the MOAs are active. Without V-70, which has a minimum en route altitude (MEA) of 3,000 feet msl, IFR pilots would have to use a route with an MEA of 9,000 feet msl—too high for some small aircraft.
AOPA is currently enlisting the help of AOPA Airport Support Network volunteers in the area to identify any unforeseen local impact from the proposed MOA expansion, and the association will file comments explaining its concerns.
In the meantime, AOPA is urging area pilots to review the proposal and file their own comments before the Jan. 26 deadline. Comments should be submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration; ATO, Eastern Service Center; Attn: AJO2-E2C.2; P.O. Box 20636, Atlanta, GA 30320.
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