AOPA is asking the Air Force to extend the comment period on a draft environmental assessment related to plans to make the Delta Military Operations Area (MOA), located near Delta Junction, Alaska, permanent.
Because the current deadline for comments falls on Chanukah and three days before Christmas, AOPA has requested an additional 30 days for comments. If the Air Force agrees, the comment deadline would be extended to Jan. 19, 2009.
“This is an important decision, and we want to be sure that local pilots and airspace users have adequate time to evaluate the proposal and consider how it would affect their flying,” said Peter Lehmann, AOPA manager of air traffic services. “We will keep our members informed about the Air Force decision. In the meantime, we encourage those affected to file comments about how this will impact their flying.”
The proposed MOA would shut off access to V-444, a major east-west route. Without access to V-444, pilots would need to make a detour of nearly 400 miles using an airway with a minimum en route altitude that is 5,000 feet higher—a significant difference for most general aviation aircraft. Depsite that fact, the Air Force environmental assessment ended in a “finding of no significant impact.”
Written comments should be addressed to Mr. James W. Hostman, 611 CES/CEAO, 10471 20th Street, Suite 302, Elmendorf AFB, AK 99506-2200.