AOPA urges mitigation of GA impact from Michigan exercises

March 19, 2013

A planned U.S. Air Force exercise—and requested temporary military operations area—could force costly and inefficient circumnavigation by general aviation pilots operating in northern Michigan Aug. 5 through 16.

AOPA, in formal comments submitted March 13, urged the FAA to coordinate with the Air Force to allow continued access by IFR traffic, when feasible, to the Grayling Temporary Military Operations Area (TMOA) when it is active. The Grayling TMOA stands to be established between the Grayling Aerial Gunnery Range (R-4201A/B) and Pike West Military Operations Area, extending from 5,000 feet msl through 17,999 feet. The TMOA would be active daily from 8:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Central Daylight Time, and other times by notam.

The TMOA would render a significant portion of Victor 78-609 (with a minimum en route altitude of 5,000 feet along the affected segment) unusable for instrument operators at the height of the summer flying season, and AOPA urged the FAA to consider coordination between the Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center and the Air Force that would allow IFR flights to transition the area when military operations permit.

Pilots are encouraged to submit comments about the effects of the proposed TMOA to: Manager, Operations Support Group, AJV-C2, Airspace Study 13-AGL-06NR, Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas, 76137. The comment deadline is April 1, and those submitting comments are encouraged to share a copy with AOPA.