AOPA has issued formal comments on the Air Force’s plan to establish the White Elk Military Operations Area (MOA) in airspace near Reno, Nev. The association expressed satisfaction with concessions made to accommodate an annual soaring event, but registered continuing concerns about potential lost use of a Victor airway in the proposed airspace.
AOPA suggested that either a letter of agreement with appropriate air traffic control facilities be drawn up to enable full use of Victor 269 when the MOA is active, or that the floor of the airway be raised as a remedy.
AOPA reported June 1 that the Air Force had issued its final environmental impact statement on a plan to modify special-use airspace west of the existing Gandy MOA. The proposed changes would constitute a westward expansion of the Utah Test and Training Area, and establish the White Elk MOA from 14,000 feet msl, or about 5,000 feet agl, to Flight Level 180.
The Air Force said that it needs the additional airspace because existing special-use airspace cannot contain all necessary operations “due to scheduling priorities and training demands.”
AOPA submitted formal comments to the Air Force June 9. In the letter, the association stated its appreciation for the Air Force’s agreement to avoid scheduling activation of the airspace in conflict with “Glider Week,” an annual soaring event in the area.
AOPA still has concerns about the proposed MOA’s floor of 14,000 feet msl making Victor 269—with a 13,000 foot minimum en route altitude—unusable for IFR southbound flights when the MOA is active. AOPA has proposed that either a letter of agreement with appropriate air traffic facilities be drafted to keep the airway open as needed during military activity in the airspace, or that the floor of the MOA be raised to 14,500 feet msl.
Members can submit comments on the MOA proposal by mail to HQ ACC/A7PS; 129 Andrews St., Ste 122, Langley, AFB, VA 23665-2769; ATTN: Ms. Linda DeVine. Comments must be received by June 20. Pilots can also submit comments at the FEIS website. Members are encouraged to share their comments with AOPA.