The Navy should return unused airspace to the National Airspace System and provide 60-day comment periods on any special-use airspace expansion planned near Oregon’s Boardman Airport, AOPA said.
AOPA made these recommendations in formal comments submitted Feb. 16 on a revised notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for training operations at the Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility Boardman. Members may comment on the EIS until Feb. 27.
On Dec. 27, the Navy published in the Federal Register a revised notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement “for continued and increased training activities” in the airspace complex just south of the Boardman Airport.
AOPA originally reported in October 2010 that the Navy was holding informational meetings on alternatives, but those alternatives did not include new SUA changes at the time. However, in this revised notice issued at the end of December 2011, AOPA learned that the Navy made revisions including new proposed SUA.
Commenting on the revised EIS, AOPA strongly urged the Navy to return unused airspace back to the National Airspace System as it seeks to reconfigure SUA for changing training requirements.
The association also noted that a 30-day comment period was insufficient for adequate dissemination and review of the notice of intent, and has requested that future review and comment periods be set for a minimum of 60 days.
Members may comment on the draft EIS by Feb. 27 online or by mail to Mrs. Amy Burt, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest, 1101 Tautog Circle, Suite 203, Silverdale WA 98315-1101, Attn: NWSTF Boardman Project Manager.
Please also share your comments with AOPA