The Navy is considering switching its submarine hunter aircraft from the Lockheed P-3 to the P-8 Poseidon. Because the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station in Oak Harbor, Washington, would be affected, the military is conducting an environmental impact statement process. While the Navy has told AOPA that it does not intend to request airspace restrictions with this change, the association is staying abreast of the situation. "The Seattle area has one of only two restricted areas that were created in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks, and we are concerned about any possibility that more airspace could be restricted," said Heidi Williams, AOPA director of air traffic services. "We will work to make sure that doesn't happen." AOPA members are encouraged to attend an informational meeting from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, February 15, at the Oak Harbor School District Office, boardroom 350. Members also can write to the Navy requesting that general aviation operations and the airspace remain unaffected. Comments should be sent by March 2 to: Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic, 6506 Hampton Blvd., Norfolk, VA 23508.
January 5, 2007