October 14, 2010
By Dan Namowitz
The FAA will hold three informal meetings with pilots on the redesign of the Seattle Class B airspace in December. The proposed changes are intended to improve containment of traffic arriving and departing from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport within the Class B airspace.
Pilots will note some unusual design features in the airspace plan, such as the airspace's varying ceiling heights. Most of the airspace will extend vertically to 10,000 feet mean sea level. But extensions north and south of the airport will rise only to 7,000 feet msl.
AOPA has reviewed the proposed redesign's impact on GA. The association supports the overall reduction in size of the Class B airspace. A current concern is the 2,000-to-10,000 foot msl sector northwest of Seattle-Tacoma International, proposed to contain traffic arriving at Boeing Field. As defined by FAA Order 7400.2G, the purpose of Class B airspace is to contain traffic operating to/from the primary airport--in this case Seattle-Tacoma International.
AOPA will submit comments on the proposed design in the near future.
The upcoming meetings provide pilots with an excellent opportunity to be heard on the planned airspace changes. The meetings will be held Thursday, Dec. 9, at Snohomish County Auditorium, 2320 California Street, Everett, WA 98201; Tuesday, Dec. 14, at the Highline Performing Arts Center, 401 South 152nd Street, Burien, WA 98148; and Thursday, Dec. 16, at The Theater at Auburn Mountainview, 28900 124 Ave. South East, Auburn, WA, 98092.
Pilots are also encouraged to submit written comments. Mail them to Clark Desing, Manager Operations Support Group, AJV-W2, Western Service Center, Air Traffic Organization, Federal Aviation Administration, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW, Renton, WA 98057. Please enclose three copies of your letter. Comments are due by Jan. 31.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
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