The public will have an opportunity to comment on the Air National Guard's proposed changes to the Condor 1 and 2 Military Operations Areas (MOAs) in a public scoping meeting Sept. 2 at the University of Maine at Farmington.
Local pilots are encouraged to attend and comment on the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposal, which would combine the footprint of the existing Condor 1 and 2 MOAs into one large Condor High MOA from 7,000 feet msl to 18,000 feet msl, with a low-altitude Condor Low underlying the other MOA from 500 feet agl to 6,999 feet msl. AOPA has been actively engaged in the issue for several years and has opposed the expansion for safety reasons.
“Expanding Condor 1 and 2 would make it more difficult for GA aircraft to transition to other areas without entering the same airspace as high-speed, low-altitude military aircraft,” said AOPA Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs Rob Hackman. “In addition, intermittent radar and radio coverage at lower altitudes means pilots would not be able to find out in flight if the MOA is active or not and where the traffic is.”
Expanding the military training airspace, used by the 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, would impact five airports directly under the MOAs as well as 25 airports in the vicinity. AOPA is also concerned about the proposal’s possible effects on cross-border operations, VFR traffic along Victor 104, and east-west operations between Upstate New York and Bangor, Maine.
The public scoping meeting will be from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Lincoln Auditorium in the Roberts Learning Center on the UMF campus. Members are encouraged to attend; they can also submit written comments on the EIS and send a copy of the comments to AOPA.
Comments and safety concerns can be sent to Major Stephen R. Lippert NGB/A 7AM, Program Manager, 3500 Fetchet Avenue, Andrews AFB, MD 20762–5157. The deadline is Sept. 21. AOPA would like to receive a copy of members' comments by Sept. 14.