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Military tries again for Cherry-Core MOA in N.C.Military tries again for Cherry-Core MOA in N.C.

Attn: Ms. Kelly Knight
Commander, Atlantic Division
1510 Gilbert Street
Norfolk, VA 23511-2699

RE: Proposal to Establish New Military Operations Areas in North Carolina

Dear Ms. Knight:

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), representing the interests of over 364,000 aviation enthusiasts and professionals throughout the United States, respectfully submits its opposition to the proposed military operations areas (MOAs) in northeastern North Carolina. Given the proliferation of special-use airspace in this region, these proposed additions would significantly impact general aviation (GA) at several airports proximate to the Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point.

Although the Department of Defense has put forth seven alternatives for consideration in the environmental impact study (EIS), each will impose barriers to VFR and IFR flight operations along the coast. For example, because the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will not clear IFR traffic through an active MOA, the establishment of the Cherry and Core MOAs would limit access and/or hinder operations at both the Craven County and Michael J. Smith airports. Combined, these airports host over 100,000 operations annually. IFR access would be further restricted by the 3,000-foot base level for each alternative under consideration.

Of equal concern to AOPA and its members is the impact such airspace will have to VFR traffic. Because the code of federal regulations does not prohibit VFR operations within a MOA, the FAA and the military often disregard the needs of these pilots. However, all parties must concede the danger inherent to having both small piston and high-performance military aircraft occupying the same active MOA. Prudence dictates that VFR aircraft often operate around these activities, making the existence of such airspace a major operational issue.

AOPA recognizes that a strong national defense is predicated on the proper training of our armed forces. However, where issues of MOAs are concerned, we must be careful to consider the needs of all airspace users. The cumulative impact of the proposed airspace changes would place an excessive burden on the general aviation community. AOPA seeks an alternative that will not only foster a strong national defense, but will also afford the greatest access to airspace for our members.

Respectfully,

Michael W. Brown
Associate Director, Air Traffic Services
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association

Cc:

Chris Hudson, AOPA Region Representative
Bill Dunn, AOPA, Vice President of Regional Affairs
Melissa Bailey, AOPA, Vice President of Air Traffic Services

October 13, 2000

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Attn: Ms. Kelly Knight
Commander, Atlantic Division
1510 Gilbert Street
Norfolk, VA 23511-2699

RE: Proposal to Establish New Military Operations Areas in North Carolina

Dear Ms. Knight:

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), representing the interests of over 364,000 aviation enthusiasts and professionals throughout the United States, respectfully submits its opposition to the proposed military operations areas (MOAs) in northeastern North Carolina. Given the proliferation of special-use airspace in this region, these proposed additions would significantly impact general aviation (GA) at several airports proximate to the Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point.

Although the Department of Defense has put forth seven alternatives for consideration in the environmental impact study (EIS), each will impose barriers to VFR and IFR flight operations along the coast. For example, because the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will not clear IFR traffic through an active MOA, the establishment of the Cherry and Core MOAs would limit access and/or hinder operations at both the Craven County and Michael J. Smith airports. Combined, these airports host over 100,000 operations annually. IFR access would be further restricted by the 3,000-foot base level for each alternative under consideration.

Of equal concern to AOPA and its members is the impact such airspace will have to VFR traffic. Because the code of federal regulations does not prohibit VFR operations within a MOA, the FAA and the military often disregard the needs of these pilots. However, all parties must concede the danger inherent to having both small piston and high-performance military aircraft occupying the same active MOA. Prudence dictates that VFR aircraft often operate around these activities, making the existence of such airspace a major operational issue.

AOPA recognizes that a strong national defense is predicated on the proper training of our armed forces. However, where issues of MOAs are concerned, we must be careful to consider the needs of all airspace users. The cumulative impact of the proposed airspace changes would place an excessive burden on the general aviation community. AOPA seeks an alternative that will not only foster a strong national defense, but will also afford the greatest access to airspace for our members.

Respectfully,

Michael W. Brown
Associate Director, Air Traffic Services
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association

Cc:

Chris Hudson, AOPA Region Representative
Bill Dunn, AOPA, Vice President of Regional Affairs
Melissa Bailey, AOPA, Vice President of Air Traffic Services

October 13, 2000

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