AOPA is encouraging pilots to review a draft environmental impact statement the U.S. Navy has released for the proposed modernization of the Fallon Range Training Complex in Nevada.
Pilots are urged to submit comments on the plan, which could have several consequential impacts on general aviation operations, by Feb. 14, 2019, a 30-day extension of the original January deadline for providing comments.
A series of seven public information meetings will be held on the proposal between Dec. 10 and Dec. 13 as noted below.
The Navy has requested the modernization, which includes expanding and reconfiguring military operations areas and restricted areas included in the complex “to provide sustainable and modernized airspace, range, maneuver areas, training facilities, and range infrastructure and resources that would support acceptably realistic air warfare training activities as well as special operations ground training activities in order to meet emergent and future threats.”
AOPA commented on the proposal in November 2016 during the public-scoping stage of the proposal, expressing support for the military’s need to train, but noting concerns about the plan’s specific impact on local and transient IFR and VFR flight operations.
AOPA raised objections to negative effects that the proliferation of large areas of special-use airspace have on airspace utilization; to a lack of advance notice GA pilots might have about airspace activation; to the potential for off-airway IFR flights to add long distances to their flights during active periods; and to increased circumnavigation—and therefore greater expense—for VFR flights.
The Navy has announced the following schedule of public meetings at which a stenographer will be present to record oral comments from the public:
Members may submit comments on the proposal by Feb. 14, 2019, online or by mail to Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, Code EV21.SG, 1220 Pacific Highway, Building 1, 5th Floor, San Diego, CA 92132–5190, Attn: Ms. Sara Goodwin, EIS Project Manager.
Members may share their comments with AOPA by email.