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Military exercise set for August in Wisconsin, Michigan airspace

A large block of airspace over northwestern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan will be designated a temporary military operations area (TMOA) August 2 through 27 during a training exercise of the Air National Guard’s 148th Fighter Wing based in Duluth, Minnesota.

Image courtesy of the FAA.

The operation, Exercise Northern Lightning, is expected to take place five days a week during the TMOA period, with notification of airspace activity posted by notam four hours in advance.

Operations will include a maximum of 28 sorties daily involving tactical combat maneuvering by fighter aircraft in TMOA airspace from 8,000 feet msl up to but not including Flight Level 180. Flights are to be conducted between 9 and 11:30 a.m., and from 1 to 3:30 p.m. local time.

There are no restrictions on nonparticipating VFR aircraft using the airspace, but pilots are urged to use extreme caution when the TMOA is active, said Jim McClay, AOPA director of airspace, air traffic, and security.

Although permanent MOAs (see Section 3-4-5 of the Aeronautical Information Manual) appear on aeronautical charts, temporary MOAs are uncharted, making it vital for pilots to obtain thorough briefings from flight service and check notams before flying in the vicinity, McClay said. Pilots should also request the current status of the airspace during flight by contacting the controlling agency of the TMOA, the Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center on published frequencies.

Pilots should also note that additional military training activity will be taking place in the Volk complex of MOAs in central Wisconsin.

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, Airspace, Security

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