AOPA is urging pilots who transit the Washington, D.C., area Class B airspace to note an amendment pertaining to restricted area R-4001C, located on the northeast side of the airspace.
The FAA’s action, which it described as an editorial change, excludes R-4001C from Class B airspace when the restricted area is active, according to a notice published in the Federal Register on Sept. 26. (See graphic.)
Restricted areas R-4001A and R-4001B were already excluded from Class B airspace during periods of activity. The change updates the description of Area D of the Washington, D.C., Tri-Area Class B airspace—which extends from 3,500 feet msl up to and including 10,000 feet msl within the designated boundaries—"to add R-4001C (which is imbedded within R-4001A and R-4001B) to the exclusionary language. Aeronautical charts have been updated to reflect this information," the FAA’s notice said.
Activities in R-4001C include moored balloons that are airborne 24 hours a day except during maintenance or in certain weather conditions. That created a need to separate nonparticipating aircraft from a hazard to navigation, the FAA said.
AOPA Airport Support Network volunteers at area airports are also working to notify pilots of the changes, and are pointing out the importance of staying informed about amendments to airspace already well saturated with restrictions and procedural requirements, said Melissa McCaffrey, AOPA senior government analyst for air traffic services.