The Air Force is looking to expand special-use airspace in southern Indiana by about eight times, creating two large military operations areas (MOAs) that would impede VFR flight between Louisville, Kentucky, and Indianapolis, Indiana. AOPA is seeking changes to the proposed Racer and JPG MOAs to lessen the impact on civilian air traffic.
"Although this proposal is a significant improvement over the original 1999 request, we still have concerns over the times of use, the lack of 'real-time' activity information for pilots, and impacts on the V51 airway and instrument approaches into Freeman Municipal (SER) and North Vernon (OVO) airports," said Heidi Williams, AOPA manager of air traffic policy.
AOPA will be meeting this week with the AOPA Airport Support Network volunteers and the managers of the airports near the proposed MOAs to determine additional impacts on civilian flight.
The Racer MOAs would abut the western and southern boundaries of R-3401A/B (Camp Atterbury) and extend west for 4 nautical miles and south/southwest for 23 nm. The proposal was modified to allow pilots using V53 at or above the minimum en route altitude (MEA) to remain clear of the MOA.
The JPG MOAs would be added to the north and west boundaries of R-3403A/B and extend north for 9 nm and southwest for 36 nm. When active, these MOAs would effectively block the use of V51 between Louisville and Indianapolis and affect the SER localizer Runway 05 (and the new ILS to be installed next year) approach and the GPS Runway 23 approach procedure at OVO.
AOPA will be asking for mitigation procedures to allow for instrument approaches during the times the MOAs are active and for charted radio frequencies so that pilots can contact the military to obtain real-time MOA activity information.
AOPA will also be seeking a reduction in the active times of the MOAs, since the Air Force actually plans to use the airspace less than an hour a day.
The FAA will be accepting comments on the Racer and JPG MOA proposals until December 6. Comments should be sent to:
Federal Aviation Administration
Central Terminal Operations
Manager, Airspace Branch, AGL-520
2300 East Devon Ave.
Des Plaines, IL 60018
November 9, 2004