NextGen modernization plans call for transitioning from ground-based to satellite-based navigation and surveillance in part to increase efficiency and capacity in the airspace system. A recent re-evaluation and change to restricted airspace in California demonstrates one way airspace can be modified to do just that.
Restricted Area R-2504 near Camp Roberts in San Miguel, Calif., will be divided into two separate restricted areas, allowing the Army to activate only the portion that is needed for operations.
“As we transition to NextGen, the need for dynamic and flexible airspace will have increasing importance,” said Heidi Williams, AOPA senior director of airspace and modernization. “The Department of Defense is making a conscious effort to subdivide special-use airspace so that they can activate only those portions necessary to complete their mission.”
Because of the DOD’s willingness to work with pilots and the FAA to maximize the use of the airspace, R-2504 will be split into R-2405A (surface to 6,000 feet msl) and R-2504B (6,000 feet msl to 15,000 feet msl). The lateral dimensions of the airspace will not change. The new restricted areas will go into effect at 0901 Zulu on Sept. 23.