February 19, 2004
Docket Management System
U.S. Department of Transportation
Room Plaza 401
400 Seventh Street, SW
Washington, DC 20590-0001
RE: FAA Docket No. FAA-2003-16438 and Airspace Docket No. 03-ASW-02
To Whom It May Concern:
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), representing over 400,000 general aviation pilots, offers the following comments on the proposed modifications of R-3801 near Alexandria, Louisiana. AOPA supports the elimination of the current R-3801A airspace. However, we are concerned with raising the ceiling of the current R-3801 B-C area due to the effective elimination of V212.
VFR pilots using airway V-212 through this restricted airspace area will be significantly impacted by raising the ceiling of R-3801 B-C from 14,000 feet to 23,000 feet. Raising the ceiling of the restricted airspace will eliminate access to V-212 forcing pilots to circumnavigate this massive area of special use airspace (SUA) and incur additional operating costs. In addition, V-212 is the only airway routed directly through this SUA area. AOPA requests that the Houston Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and the 917th Fighter Wing work together to ensure that general aviation access to this important airway is not impeded with the proposed vertical expansion of the R3801 airspace area.
AOPA appreciates the opportunity to provide comments on the proposed changes and looks forward to working with the FAA and the military on these important access issues.
Heidi J. Williams
Air Traffic, Regulatory and Certification Policy