MEMBER ALERT: AOPA will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday from 2:30 p.m. Eastern Nov. 26 until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Dec. 1.We are thankful for all of our AOPA members. Happy Thanksgiving!
January 12, 2011
By Dan Namowitz
AOPA has submitted formal comments to the FAA supporting the proposed redesign of Class B airspace over Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Washington state. AOPA takes one exception to the design, however, and is calling for elimination of one Class B sector seen as an excessively restrictive way to accommodate traffic using Boeing Field—a Class D airspace airport just north of Seattle-Tacoma.
Comments may be submitted on the airspace redesign until Jan. 31. AOPA members are encouraged to submit comments on the airspace redesign, on which a series of informal meetings was held last month.
AOPA supported the FAA’s “common sense approach” to designing Seattle’s Class B airspace “to include only that airspace required for containment of arrivals and departures from SEA,” wrote AOPA Manager of Air Traffic Services Tom Kramer in a Jan. 10 letter to the FAA. He expressed AOPA’s support for the “unconventional” use of varying ceiling heights that effectively meet traffic-containment goals and also enhance efficiency of general aviation operations in the area.
Kramer requested in the letter that the 2,000-foot msl to 10,000-foot msl sector northwest of Seattle-Tacoma be eliminated from the design.
“Using Class B airspace to contain arrivals at a secondary Class D airport is a misuse of Class B airspace,” Kramer wrote. He reminded the FAA that no pilot outreach to identify safety concerns about the sector had been initiated, and that the FAA had not tried any less-restrictive methods to deal with traffic flows at Boeing Field when its Class D airspace was reviewed in early 2010.
Members can send written comments by Jan. 31 in triplicate to Mr. Clark Desing, Manager, Operations Support Group, AJV-W2, Western Service Center, Air Traffic Organization, Federal Aviation Administration, 1601 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA 98057. Members are also encouraged to send a copy of their comments to AOPA.
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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