FAA seeks comment on Detroit Class B expansion

May 19, 2010

The FAA is inviting pilots to comment on a proposal that would expand the boundaries and raise the ceiling of the Detroit Class B airspace.

The agency will hold informal meetings in July to discuss an initial proposal for expanding the airspace, and AOPA encourages members affected by the redesign to attend a meeting and make their voice heard.

The initial proposal calls for a large expansion of the lateral boundaries of the Class B airspace west of Detroit Metro Airport in order to contain arriving aircraft within the airspace. Plans also call for raising the ceiling of the airspace from its current 8,000 feet to 10,000 feet. AOPA has recommended against the raised ceiling, pointing out that other Class B designs have successfully incorporated lower ceilings to allow general aviation traffic to pass above the busy airspace. The association will submit formal comments to the FAA regarding the latest proposal.

“Throughout the Class B redesign process, AOPA has advocated against raising the ceiling of the Class B airspace over Detroit Metro Airport,” said AOPA Manager of Air Traffic Services Tom Kramer. “Many other busy terminal areas have adopted lower ceilings that both contain procedures and allow GA transitions over the top of the Class B airspace. Raising the ceiling to simply adopt a standard 10,000 foot ceiling does not seem like the most efficient or flexible use of the airspace, and we are hoping the FAA will reconsider this aspect of the proposal.”

Informal airspace meetings are scheduled for July 20, 21, and 22; the meetings are open to the public, and everyone in attendance will be given the opportunity to speak. Detailed information about dates, times, and location of meetings can be found online by searching for docket No. FAA-2010-0518.