AOPA opposes more MOAs in southern Mississippi

March 5, 2008

AOPA opposes more MOAs in southern Mississippi

By AOPA ePublishing staff

Recent proposals by the Air National Guard could hinder general aviation IFR operations in southeastern Mississippi. AOPA is working to ensure that the airspace remains open and usable but the association needs pilots’ help.

One proposal would expand Restricted Area R-4401, located southeast of Hattiesburg, Miss., two nautical miles to the east. The expansion itself would not significantly impact GA, but the Air National Guard’s second proposal—creating two additional military operations areas (MOAs) that hug the restricted airspace—would cause some problems.

The two new MOAs ( De Soto 3 and 4) would be located directly above the current De Soto 1 and 2 MOAs and render Victor airways V-70 and V-11 unusable to IFR traffic when they are active. The MOAs would extend up to Flight Level 180 and typically be active Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., with the possibility of other times. Because the Victor airways would be unusable during peak flight times, AOPA will be opposing the proposal.

“When it comes to airspace proposals, the FAA needs to hear from local pilots, not just AOPA,” said Heidi Williams, AOPA director of air traffic services. “Only local pilots can explain how the restricted area and MOAs would affect their flying.”

AOPA encourages pilots to comment on the De Soto 3 and 4 MOAs before the March 27 deadline and the R-4401 expansion by April 7. Both proposals include guidelines for submitting comments.

March 5, 2008