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Oregon airspace initiative could impact GA

AOPA is urging members to review and comment on an airspace initiative by the Oregon Air National Guard that could have a major impact on general aviation IFR operations in the state’s airspace.

The proposal to establish additional military operations areas and expand existing MOAs will be the subject of a series of informational meetings in August, as listed below.

A draft environmental impact statement for the proposal has been made available for public inspection. Members may submit formal comments on the airspace initiative by Sept. 8, as provided below.

AOPA has been monitoring the proposal through the Range Council process. The Range Council is a standing interagency committee tasked with managing the Defense Department’s airspace including MOAs and restricted and prohibited airspace. AOPA will submit formal comments on the plan, which the Oregon Air National Guard said will provide “efficient, realistic, mission-oriented training” to support its training needs.

Several of the proposed MOAs would extend from 500 feet agl to Flight Level 180, with an impact on the airways that transit the airspace.

Pilots flying along the Oregon coast at or above 11,000 feet msl would also be affected by the initiative, which would also add special-use airspace in the coastal area.

"The impact on local and transient pilots could be significant due to the size of the proposed airspace," said Rune Duke, AOPA director of government affairs for airspace and air traffic. "Pilots might have to fly many miles around the airspace when it is active, complicating flight planning and increasing fuel requirements and operational costs."

Hearings on the airspace initiative will be held:

  • Aug. 11, from 6 p.m. to 9 .p.m., at the Tillamook Air Museum, 6030 Hangar Road, Tillamook, OR 97141;
  • Aug. 12, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at The Loft at the Red Building, 20 Basin Street, Astoria, OR 97103;
  • Aug. 14, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at Condon High School, 210 East Bayard Street, Condon, OR 97823;
  • Aug. 15, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., at the Harney County Center, 484 North Broadway Ave., Burns, OR 97720;
  • Aug. 17, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Crook County Library, City of Prineville, 175 NW Meadow Lakes Drive, Prineville, OR 97754.

Members may email comments by Sept. 8 to the Oregon Air National Guard. Be sure to include "Oregon Airspace Initiative EIS" in the subject line of your email.

Please share a copy of your comments with AOPA.

Dan Namowitz
Dan Namowitz
Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is a 35-year AOPA member.
Topics: Airspace Redesign, Advocacy, Airspace

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