The changes to eight proposed new military operations areas (MOAs) in Southern Indiana seemed to be pretty good. The Indiana Air National Guard had been talking to local pilots and airport operators and was seriously considering their comments. "But put it in writing," AOPA said. The devil is always in the details.
The FAA has now "re-circularized" the proposal with the changes, as AOPA had asked. And while many of the local pilots' and AOPA's concerns were addressed, issues still remain for general aviation aircraft flying between Indianapolis and Louisville.
"When the JPG A and B MOAs are active, IFR aircraft won't be able to access V51 between the two cities," said Heidi Williams, AOPA director of air traffic policy. "The only other airway between Indianapolis and Louisville - V53 - has a 10,000-foot minimum en route altitude, which is near the practical operating ceiling of some GA aircraft. Implementing the revised JPG A MOA would exclude IFR aircraft movement in a considerable portion of airspace between two major Midwest cities."
But on the plus side of the ledger, the military reduced the size of the proposed Racer A and B MOAs by about 56 square miles, and that would give pilots operating under visual flight rules (VFR) unhindered access to Freeman Municipal Airport (SER).
The floor of the JPG A MOA also has been raised from 500 feet agl to 4,000 feet msl. That provides more room for VFR north-south transitions and would allow instrument approaches to continue at Freeman Municipal during times that the MOA is active.
Pilots have until May 31 to comment on the revised Racer and JPG military operations area proposal.
April 20, 2005