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Despite AOPA opposition, Marines moving forward with N.C. airspace proposalDespite AOPA opposition, Marines moving forward with N.C. airspace proposal

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An airspace action that AOPA has been fighting since 1993 is once again in the spotlight. The U.S. Marine Corps is proposing the creation of the Core and Mattamuskeet military operations areas (MOAs) over portions of North Carolina's Outer Banks and Hyde County. AOPA is urging area pilots to attend the public meetings on the proposal and file comments on the environmental assessment.

The Core MOA would be tacked on to the southeast corner of the R-5306A restricted area, and the Mattamuskeet MOA would extend north of the restricted area. The altitude of use would extend from 3,000 feet msl to 17,999 feet msl. The cumulative impacts of these MOAs, when coupled with existing special-use airspace (SUA), would impact thousands of GA operations along the Carolina coast each year.

In October 2000, AOPA reported that the military was once again moving forward with plans to establish additional SUA in North Carolina. At that time, AOPA submitted comments to the initial environmental impact statement, outlining concerns over the proliferation of SUA in an area frequently traveled by general aviation pilots. Since that time, AOPA has been involved in scoping meetings and has actively participated in the North Carolina/Military Environmental Working Group Special Use Airspace Subcommittee, all to prevent the continued growth of SUA throughout this region.

As part of the ongoing environmental assessment process, the Marine Corps is once again holding a series of public meetings on this proposal at the following locations:

New Bern, N.C.
New Bern Riverfront Convention Center
Tryon Room, 203 South Front Street
July 10, 2002 5 p.m.-8 p.m.
Buxton, N.C.
Cape Hatteras High School Auditorium
7868 Free Union Church Road
July 16, 2002 5 p.m.-8 p.m.
Swan Quarter, N.C.
Mattamuskeet High School
U.S. Rt. 264
July 17, 2002 5 p.m.-8 p.m.
Pinetown, N.C.
Northside High School Auditorium
7860 Free Union Church Road
July 18, 2002 5 p.m.-8 p.m.

Pilots who wish to view the environmental assessment may do so online, or copies may be obtained by contacting the Department of the Navy at 757/322-4886. Comments are due by August 8, 2002.

AOPA continues to oppose the Core MOA proposal. Once submitted, AOPA's comments will be made available online. Members who wish to voice their opinions or contribute to these comments may do so by e-mailing AOPA's Air Traffic, Regulatory, and Certification Policy department. Members are also encouraged to submit their own written comments, making their individual voices part of the public record.

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