The U.S. Navy has worked to accommodate requests from GA pilots that would mitigate the effects of its proposed military operations area (MOA) over Lemoore Naval Air Station in California, but AOPA is not quite satisfied.
In formal comments on the Navy's revised plan, AOPA opposed plans to set the floor of three sectors in the MOA at 5,000 feet msl because it would negatively impact IFR traffic transiting through the San Joaquin Valley. AOPA recommended raising the floor to 12,000 feet msl.
"The 5,000-foot-msl floor of the northern and southern sectors of the proposed Lemoore MOAs forces IFR traffic to circumnavigate the large footprint of the lower sectors of the MOA," said Heidi Williams, AOPA director of air traffic services.
The handoff altitude for IFR traffic between Naval Air Station Lemoore Approach Control and the Oakland and Los Angeles centers is 8,000 feet msl.
"Without prior coordination between the FAA and military air traffic control facilities or raising the ceiling to accommodate users, MOA usage will result in a complete and unacceptable lack of access for IFR traffic," Williams said.
Raising the floor of the sectors to 12,000 feet msl will provide four usable IFR altitudes below the MOA and allow VFR and IFR aircraft to have access to multiple airports in the San Joaquin Valley.
August 29, 2005