The Air Force has released a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) of its Shaw Air Force Base training initiative, which includes a new special-use airspace alternative over South Carolina and Georgia that would mitigate the concerns AOPA raised during the drafting of the proposal.
"The new alternative SUA design, called Alternative B in the DEIS, appears to address both the military and civilian pilots' needs," said Heidi Williams, AOPA director of air traffic services. "It will allow for local and transient pilot operations, and the Air Force can still complete their missions in the proposed airspace."
Alternative B would establish the floor of the Gamecock E military operations area (MOA) at 8,000 feet msl, instead of the original proposal to set it at 5,000 feet msl. This allows GA traffic to transit the area without being compressed into a smaller chunk of airspace.
It also would change the floor of the Bulldog B MOA to 3,000 feet msl and the ceiling of the Bulldog A MOA to 3,000 feet msl. This creates a shelf over airports in the surrounding area. The previous proposal would have established a ceiling of 500 feet agl over the airports.
AOPA will be providing comments to the DEIS in support of the Alternative B. Comments will be accepted through October 21, 2005, and should be sent to: HQ ACC/A7ZP (ATI EIS), ATTN: Ms. Linda A. DeVine, 129 Andrews Street, Suite 102, Langley AFB, VA 23665-2769.
September 9, 2005