AOPA is concerned about the scale and impacts of a proposed expansion of the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex. Members are urged to weigh in on an amended FAA proposal that would adversely impact general aviation, including both VFR and IFR operations. (The amended proposal is largely the same as the original, but includes some additional information and an extended comment period.)
The FAA proposal is the latest development in a long-running process; AOPA expressed concerns about a draft environmental impact statement in 2012, and continues to look at ways to mitigate the adverse impacts on GA operations in the region between Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska.
Chief among AOPA concerns (which the association reiterated in 2013) is the significant size of the proposed expansion of military operations areas within the JPARC airspace, including the proposed expansion of the Fox 3 Military Operations Area and proposed creation of a new Paxon MOA.
“Expanding the Fox 3 MOA laterally, and lowering the floor from 5,000 to 500 feet agl is a significant concern given the amount of GA traffic that uses the area,” said AOPA Alaska Regional Manager Tom George. “The newly proposed Paxon MOA created conflicts with low level traffic through Isabell Pass, and shuts down the IFR airway, when active.”
Comments must be submitted by May 10, and are accepted by mail (the mailing address is listed in the FAA notice published online) or by email. Those who submit comments, or have information about additional potential impacts, are encouraged to contact AOPA.
The association will submit comments detailing and reiterating the various concerns, and continue to work with the FAA and the military to reduce or eliminate adverse impacts on GA.