The FAA is proposing a commercial launch site, Blue Origin, near Van Horn, Texas, but AOPA wants to make sure the agency won't propose a temporary flight restriction (TFR) with it. The FAA's recent environmental assessment revealed that almost 130 flights per day come within a four-mile radius of the proposed site. To keep that airspace and a Victor airway open, the association recommended that the FAA create an alert area instead. Pilots would be able to fly in the area and would be informed of a launch through notams. Safety is paramount, but AOPA maintains its position that these operations must fit seamlessly within the National Airspace System.
August 4, 2006