June 14, 2012
By Alyssa J. Miller
The FAA is proposing to modify a restricted area situated between the Richmond, Va., and Washington, D.C., metropolitan area airspace and expand its times of use. Restricted Area 6601 currently extends from the surface to 5,000 feet msl and is in effect daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. local and by notam at least 48 hours in advance at other times.
The proposal would divide R-6601 into three areas, increase its active times from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily, and cut the required advance notice to pilots to 24 hours. R-6601A would have the same lateral boundaries as the existing restricted airspace but would extend from the surface up to 4,500 feet msl. R-6601B and R-6601C would overlie R-6601A, but their northeastern boundary would be moved slightly to the southwest to not impact Victor Airway 286 that runs over the Rappahannock River in that area. R-6601B would extend from 4,500 feet msl to 7,500 feet msl, and R-6601C would extend from 7,500 feet msl to 9,000 feet msl.
A letter of agreement would be put in place to allow the airspace to be recalled because of implementation of a severe weather avoidance plan, weather diversions, or emergencies.
AOPA encourages pilots to submit comments to the FAA explaining the impact these changes would have on their flight operations. The association also will be submitting comments before the July 27 deadline. Pilots can submit a copy of their comments to AOPA.
Comments can be submitted online or by mail to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue S.E., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, D.C. 20590-0001. Identify comments with Docket No. FAA-2012-0561 and Airspace Docket No. 12-AEA-7.
AOPA Director of eMedia and Online Managing Editor Alyssa J. Miller has worked at AOPA since 2004 and is an active flight instructor.
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