February 2, 2012
By Dan Namowitz
AOPA has requested that the Air Force, which plans to establish a temporary military operations area (TMOA) during military exercises scheduled for June from Volk Field Air National Guard base in Wisconsin, assure unimpeded airway access for general aviation flights. Members are encouraged to submit comments on the plan by Feb. 3.
In comments submitted Feb. 1, AOPA expressed concern that the proposal could affect general aviation flights’ use of several Victor airways where the minimum en route altitudes would place IFR flights within the active altitudes of the exercises. The association is urging the Air Force to work with the FAA to mitigate the problem.
The Air Force is seeking to establish the Ironwood and Sentry TMOAs to support air-to-air combat training during the exercises. The missions would be flown June 18 to June 29, and would include F-15, F-16, F-18, B-1, KC-135, and E-3 aircraft. Active times would be Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Central Daylight Time, and at other times by notam.
Because the vertical dimensions for both MOAs would start at 6,000 feet msl and extend to Flight Level 180, the plan could affect operations on several airways. They include V-148 west of Gogebic-Iron County Airport in Ironwood, Mich., with a minimum en route altitude (MEA) of 10,000 feet msl, and V-191 and V-413 east of the airport, with MEAs of 8,000 feet msl.
AOPA has requested that the Air Force work with Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center, as the controlling agency, to mitigate the impact on GA IFR flights on those airways. The association has notified local area members and Airport Support Network volunteers about the proposal, and encouraged them to submit comments.
Members can submit comments until Feb. 3 on the TMOA proposal as provided in this notice. Please also share your comments with AOPA.
During the scheduled dates of the training activity, pilots should contact flight service to obtain the latest notams about the exercises. In-flight updates on the status of the TMOAs can be received from the Minneapolis ARTCC.
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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