Changes Would Reduce Floor From 7,000' To 500'
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) tells ANN it
filed formal comments to the military and the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) recently, opposing proposed changes to the
Condor military operations area (MOA) near Sugarloaf Mountain,
"Placing high speed, low altitude military aircraft into
airspace that is regularly occupied by slower moving, less equipped
general aviation (GA) aircraft increases the potential for mid-air
collisions," wrote Pete Lehmann, AOPA government analyst, in a
letter to FAA.
According to AOPA, the military training airspace currently
begins at 7,000 feet, but the proposal from the Massachusetts Air
National Guard would lower the floor of that airspace to 500 feet.
Air traffic controllers from Boston Air Route Traffic Control
Center (ARTCC) have stated that radar coverage and communications
with aircraft -- both military and civilian -- are intermittent to
non-existent below 7,000 feet in the footprint of the Condor MOA
due to radar limitations, thus increasing the safety risk.
In its letter to the Air National Guard, AOPA requested that the
military conduct an environmental impact study before implementing
the proposed airspace changes. In addition, AOPA suggested that the
military review the special use airspace in the Northeast and use
it more effectively, to avoid having to create new airspace.
"Adirondack Special Use Airspace (SUA) could be used in lieu of
establishing a new MOA," wrote Lehmann to the Air National
The military has extended the public comment period for
environmental assessment comments to August 15, 2007. Comments may
be submitted to: LTC Landon Jones, Air National Guard Readiness
Center, Chief, Environmental Planning Branch, NGB/A7CVP, 3500
Fetchet Avenue, Andrews AFB, MD, 20762-5157.
The comment period for the aeronautical study comments ended on
July 15, 2007.