May 17, 2012
By Dan Namowitz
AOPA has asked for several changes to a temporary military operations area (TMOA) that the Air Force proposes to establish in western Iowa this September.
The association submitted formal comments to the FAA on the Hawki TMOA plan May 15 after gathering feedback from members. The comments addressed concerns about the TMOA’s impact on use of five Victor airways, and other general aviation operations. Members are urged to submit comments on the request by May 28.
The proposed TMOA would be established underneath the existing Crypt MOA complex in western Iowa, as AOPA reported May 2. Active altitudes have been designated from 4,500 feet mean sea level up to but not including 8,000 feet msl. The TMOA’s proposed active times are from Sept. 4 to 11 between 0900 and 2030 CDT; Sept.16 to 21 between 0730 and 0100 CDT; and at other times by notice to airmen.
AOPA expressed concern that the proposal would render two Victor airways entirely unusable during TMOA activation, and would have an adverse effect on three other routes, with resultant cost and extended-flight burdens on numerous general aviation operations.
With radar coverage for IFR flights lacking below 4,000 feet in the TMOA airspace, the proposed floor of 4,500 feet msl would cause extensive routing changes for many flights, AOPA said. The association recommended raising the floor of the TMOA to 6,000 feet to allow for bi-directional IFR traffic.
AOPA also requested that the FAA’s Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center work collaboratively with the Air Force to lessen the impact on general aviation flights by permitting transition through the TMOA airspace when possible.
Also, AOPA requested that the Air Force work with the Iowa Aviation Promotion Group to accommodate the organization’s scheduled annual Fly Iowa airshow. The airshow, which is “critical to the non-profit organization’s future,” is scheduled to be held in Atlantic, Iowa, Sept. 15 during a scheduled time of TMOA activity.
Members can submit comments by mail to the Department of Transportation by May 28, to Manager, Operations Support Group, AJV-C2; Airspace Study 12-ACE-8NR; Department of Transportation; Federal Aviation Administration; 2601 Meacham Blvd; Fort Worth, TX 76137.
Please share your comments with 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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