Selfridge ANG Base Reels In Restricted Airspace Proposal | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Most Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date



Airborne-Wednesday Airborne-Thursday


Airborne On YouTube



Airborne-Unlimited-05.15.24 Airborne-AffordableFlyers-05.16.24


Mon, Apr 19, 2004

Selfridge ANG Base Reels In Restricted Airspace Proposal

Local Pilots Still Not Happy

In the battle over airspace near Detroit (MI), the Air National Guard has graciously blinked -- and yet, it may not be enough.

The 127th Wing, based at Selfridge ANGB, wants to expand the Class D airspace around the base to protect aircraft making circling approaches.

"It's mainly a safety issue," said Mike LaJoy, the base's air traffic control manager. He was quoted in the newspaper "Macomb Daily."

The original ANG proposal, which drew the ire of the EAA and other advocates, called for increasing the entire Class D sector. But the outcry was so sharp that LaJoy and his colleagues quickly pulled back. That would have caused huge problems for pilots flying in and out of Ray Community Airport in nearby Ray Township.

"We made an error and apologized to Ray Community," said LaJoy. "We had no intentions of affecting Ray. We want to be good neighbors."

Now, Selfridge only wants to increase the eastern half of the Class D from 4.4 miles from the centerline of the airport to 5.7 miles. That would stretch further out into Lake St. Clair and therein lies the problem.

Civil pilots are worried that the expansion of the Class D airspace over the lake would make it tougher for pilots at Ray Community Airport to get in and out without being gigged for airspace intrusion. There are no landmarks over the lake -- the locals say nothing short of a serious conversation with ATC and a spot-on GPS or DME fix would tell them when they're approaching trouble.

The proposed expansion would also force civilian pilots to fly closer to the international border, raising all sorts of national security concerns in both the US and Canada. LaJoy says that's not a worry, though. He figures there's enough US airspace east of the proposed expansion to make approaching Ray a routine matter.

Alternatively, LaJoy said passing through the Class D expansion would involve a simple call to the Selfridge tower. Traffic, he said, is almost always allowed to pass through the Class D, provided aircraft check out as non-security threats and they don't overfly the base.

But that still doesn't work for NORDO VFR pilots.

Even with the apparent magnanimity from LaJoy and others in the Selfridge tower, locals still aren't satisfied. Pilots like Macomb County Judge Donald Miller say the military's reasoning is flawed -- nobody has used a circle-to-land approach at Selfridge in recent memory.

"Why?" he asked rhetorically. "Because unit commanders would not, and still do not permit it. FAA statistics will confirm that circling approaches are the cause of a very high percentage of accidents."

Miller said so in a recent letter to the Department of transportation. "Please reject this proposed rule-making as unnecessary and intrusive."

The debate -- sometimes contentious -- continues.



More News

Classic Aero-TV: Remembering Bob Hoover

From 2023 (YouTube Version): Legacy of a Titan Robert (Bob) Anderson Hoover was a fighter pilot, test pilot, flight instructor, and air show superstar. More so, Bob Hoover was an i>[...]

ANN FAQ: Follow Us On Instagram!

Get The Latest in Aviation News NOW on Instagram Are you on Instagram yet? It's been around for a few years, quietly picking up traction mostly thanks to everybody's new obsession >[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (05.15.24)

Aero Linx: B-52H Stratofortress The B-52H Stratofortress is a long-range, heavy bomber that can perform a variety of missions. The bomber is capable of flying at high subsonic spee>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (05.15.24):Altimeter Setting

Altimeter Setting The barometric pressure reading used to adjust a pressure altimeter for variations in existing atmospheric pressure or to the standard altimeter setting (29.92).>[...]

Aero-News: Quote of the Day (05.16.24)

"Knowing that we play an active part in bettering people's lives is extremely rewarding. My team and I are very thankful for the opportunity to be here and to help in any way we ca>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus





© 2007 - 2024 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC