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FAA withdraws Southern California SUA requestsFAA withdraws Southern California SUA requests

The FAA has withdrawn proposals requested by the U.S. Marine Corps to establish three temporary restricted areas and five temporary military operations areas (TMOAs) near Twentynine Palms, California, for use during 18 days of military exercises scheduled in August.

AOPA had submitted comments on the broad expansion of special-use airspace for Southern California and western Arizona, pointing out the significant impacts the expansion would have on general aviation flight operations in the area of heavily used airways and routes to and from airports in the Los Angeles basin.

AOPA also was planning to participate in a safety panel on the proposals at the Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center, but that session has been canceled, said Rune Duke, AOPA director of airspace and air traffic.

“Efforts to mitigate the aeronautical impacts associated with the proposed action have been unsuccessful and there is no longer sufficient time remaining to complete the actions required to process the airspace proposal in time for the August 1, 2016, exercise start date. Therefore, the NPRM is being withdrawn,” the FAA said in a July 19 Federal Register notice withdrawing the March 30 notice of proposed rulemaking for the temporary restricted areas. A withdrawal notice citing similar time constraints was circulated concerning the TMOAs.

AOPA remains engaged in the issue of special-use airspace, especially regarding concerns about GA access to the airspace. The concerns have been raised in anticipation of a proposal from the military to make special-use airspace in the area permanent.

The association and other stakeholders have met with Marine Corps representatives on that proposal—which has not yet been formally submitted by the FAA on behalf of the military, and therefore has not yet been subject to public inspection and submission of comments about adverse impacts on GA flight operations.

The U.S. Marine Corps is conducting extensive public outreach on its plans for the Twentynine Palms airspace, and plans to be on hand to discuss it at the AOPA Regional Fly-in at Ernest A. Love Field in Prescott, Arizona, on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, Duke said.

Dan Namowitz

Dan Namowitz

Associate Editor Web
Associate Editor Web 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 30-year AOPA member.
Topics: Airspace Redesign, Special Use Airspace, Temporary Flight Restriction

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