Temporary MOA impacts Victor airways in New Mexico

April 7, 2010

Despite opposition from users, the FAA has approved an Air Force request for a temporary military operations area (TMOA) over 400 square miles of southwestern New Mexico.

The TMOA will be in place from April 12 through 23 over the Playas New Mexico Training and Research Center for combat search-and-rescue training. The TMOA will be operated continually from 7 a.m. Mountain Standard Time on April 12 to 10 p.m. Mountain Standard Time on April 23. It will extend from 300 feet agl up to (but not including) 18,000 feet msl.

AOPA opposed the TMOA based on the impacts to Victor airways and the size of the proposed airspace configuration. Pilots often avoid flying in TMOA airspace even though they are not prohibited from doing so.

The low floor and high ceiling will close sections of V66, V16, and V198, forcing pilots around a large chunk of airspace. This extent of the airspace dimensions also creates a problem for general aviation pilots because it is located just to the north of the Tombstone MOA complex that sits west of El Paso, Texas.