Mar. 12, 2004 — The U.S. Air Force has agreed to implement an AOPA suggestion that will protect pilots at Ellsworth Municipal Airport (9K7), near Lyons, Kan., from going head-to-head with military pilots in the traffic pattern. The Air Force plans to shift the boundaries of two military operating areas to allow for a 3-nm, 1,500-foot cutout for Ellsworth. The original proposal would have lowered the floor of one of the MOAs below Ellsworth's traffic pattern altitude, setting up the potential for disaster.
"The Air Force was very open to our recommendation and wants to ensure that safety remains the number-one priority for all airspace users," said AOPA Manager of Air Traffic Heidi Williams. "By working together, we were able to protect Ellsworth Airport and improve safety conditions for both civilian and military pilots.