Air Force wants more airspace in Georgia, South Carolina
The Air Force is proposing to expand special-use airspace in South Carolina and Georgia, a move AOPA says will have a negative impact on general aviation.
"Fortunately, this proposal is in the early planning stages because the military didn't provide the aviation community with notice about recent public 'scoping' meetings. Therefore, neither AOPA nor local pilots had much opportunity to tell the Air Force in person how taking away this additional airspace would affect their flying," said Heidi Williams, AOPA manager of air traffic policy. "Pilots may still offer written comments on environmental issues with this initial scoping plan until October 15."
The Shaw Air Force Base Training Initiative would significantly expand the Bulldog Military Operations Area (MOA) south of Augusta, Georgia, and the Poinsett MOA south of Sumter, South Carolina. In addition, the Gamecock MOA complex south of Fayetteville would be extended to the west over the Poinsett MOA to connect with Restricted Areas 6002.
The proposal for the Bulldog MOA would drop the floor of the airspace from 10,000 feet msl to 500 feet agl. That would place the traffic patterns of three public-use airports Burke County (BXG), Millen (2J5), and Emanuel County (SBO) inside military airspace, putting military and civilian aircraft at greater risk of collision.
The expansion of the Gamecock complex would compress civilian traffic into a 3,000-foot vertical corridor, increasing the risk of midair collisions in an area heavily trafficked by general aviation aircraft.
Comments on the airspace proposal should be addressed to: 20 FW/PA, Ms. Judy Lewis or First Lt. Suzanne Ovel, at HQ ACC/CEVP, 129 Andrews St., Suite 102 Langley AFB, VA 23665-2969.
October 8, 2004