MEMBER ALERT: AOPA will be closing at 1:45 p.m. Eastern on Dec. 6 and will reopen at 8:30 a.m. Eastern on Dec. 9.
July 10, 2013
By Benét J. Wilson
AOPA is appreciative that the FAA and Department of Defense collaborated to include mitigations that preserve VFR corridors through Florida’s Pinecastle special use airspace complex. Modified restricted airspace areas become effective Aug. 22, which aligns with the charting cycles of the Jacksonville Sectional and Orlando/Tampa Terminal Area charts.
The FAA published a final rule on July 3 that expands restricted airspace areas R-2907A, R-2907B at Lake George, Fla., and R-2910 at Pinecastle Fla. A 2,000-feet msl vertical split addresses some of AOPA’s concerns regarding the heavily populated flying community in central Florida having to potentially circumnavigate a “wall of restricted airspace” that would have been in place if rulemaking moved forward without changes.
“AOPA was concerned that the proposed charted times of use appeared excessive,’” said Melissa McCaffrey, AOPA senior government analyst of air traffic services. “In an attempt to mitigate the impact for civilian operations, times of use were reduced and the airspace was segmented to allow DOD to use only those portions needed to complete their training.”
AOPA was also concerned with the limited ability to communicate by radio with the controlling agency to determine the status of the airspace, said McCaffrey. “The Department of Defense has agreed to provide a VHF frequency for contacting the Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility in Jacksonville, Fla., as communication coverage is better due to the transmitter sites location within the Pinecastle SUA complex,” she said.
The airspace changes include a division of the airspace into two subareas—R-2907B and R-2907C—which will preserve access to two east-west VFR corridors. To further mitigate the effects to the VFR corridor, the Department of Defense has agreed to limit the activation of R-2907C and R-2910E to a maximum of 800 hours per year.
AOPA encourages members who fly in central Florida to become familiar with the modifications to the restricted areas, which will contain hazardous activity.
FAA Systems and Airspace,
Pilot Safety and Skills,
FAA Procedures and Services
AOPA is urging Santa Rosa County officials who operate Peter Prince Field in Milton, Fla., to revise proposed rules to eliminate potential conflicts.
Your mission: Fly with eight F-15s to the Philippines, rejoin, refuel with air tankers, engage an unknown number of Red Air fighters, refuel again, and then return home to Okinawa. And fly with radio silence up to the first contact with the Red Air fighters.
The Aviation Safety Reporting System is a voluntary safety reporting program that allows airmen to make anonymous reports to the government about issues encountered in aviation, with anonymity allowing the airman to be candid–even when their actions may have been a violation of the regulations.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.