The Army has settled on using a controlled firing area for munitions to preserve airspace access and protect general aviation pilots near Fort Greeley, Alaska. The proposal to create a new live-fire area will require the Army to cease live-fire tests after spotting an aircraft in the area. In its final environmental impact statement, the Army showed where controlled firing areas have worked successfully elsewhere in the country. AOPA had commented on the draft, wanting assurances that the Army would not ask for restricted airspace. Because of the planned use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), AOPA will continue to monitor the issue to make sure that no flight restrictions come about from flying UAVs outside special-use airspace.
July 7, 2006