A proposal to expand existing military operations areas and create new MOAs near busy civilian airways and airports in Oregon would have an adverse effect on flight safety and should be modified, AOPA said, urging members to submit comments on the plan by Nov. 25.
The Oregon Air National Guard’s airspace plan, which AOPA has monitored through the Range Council process, would establish new MOAs "in close proximity to general aviation airports, commonly used airways, and VFR aircraft flight corridors. AOPA believes the establishment and expansion of this Special Use Airspace (SUA) would have a negative impact on general aviation in the Northwestern United States region in terms of safety and accessibility," the association said in formal comments submitted Oct. 20. (See maps of the proposed airspace.)
The Range Council is a standing interagency committee responsible for managing the Defense Department’s airspace, including MOAs and restricted and prohibited airspace.
AOPA also noted safety concerns when commenting recently on the project’s draft environmental impact statement. The association has proposed measures to mitigate the impact of the airspace plan including shifting some MOA boundaries, and changing the vertical dimensions of some airspace blocks to avoid infringing on safe and efficient fight operations of general aviation aircraft.
"There would likely be a large impact on IFR traffic flying in Oregon airspace because of the size of the proposed MOA. There would be additional impact on pilots flying at or above 11,000 feet msl along the Oregon coast, where MOAs are also proposed. Pilots might have to fly many miles around the airspace when it is active, and make more fuel stops," said Rune Duke, AOPA director of government affairs for airspace and air traffic.
"We are hopeful that the FAA will support our ideas and incorporate the additional relief we recommend into the final airspace configuration," he said
Please also share a copy of your comments with AOPA.