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Updated Web Site Offers Information for Avoiding Midairs

FAA, DoD Partner to Provide Airspace Data, Info on Military Movements

August 3, 2011

Recent midair collisions involving general aviation aircraft have highlighted the need for pilots to remain aware of their surroundings at all times. A partnership between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of Defense (DOD) has paved the way for the development of an informative website about the subject.

Effective last month, the updated SeeAndAvoid.org website is now hosted on FAASafety.gov, according to an agency release. The revised site, originally developed by the Air National Guard Aviation Safety Division and funded by the Defense Safety Oversight Council, now includes links to the military's Mid-Air Collision Avoidance (MACA) programs, as well as greater access to information about military aircraft movements.

"Our goal is to eliminate midair collisions and reduce close calls through continuous flight safety and proper flight planning," the FAA states. "By promoting information exchange between civilian pilots and the military flight safety community, we hope to provide one-stop shopping to help all of us safely share the skies."

SeeAndAvoid.org uses Google maps and graphics to simplify airspace restrictions, including depictions of Military Operations Areas (MOAs) and Special Use Airspace (SUAs.) Data on anticipated airspace closures is also included, with all information available using a simple point-and-click interface.

The agency says SeeAndAvoid.org is aimed primarily at the nation's 750,000 civil aviation pilots, whom the FAA hopes will incorporate the website into their regular preflight planning. "As important as the weather, knowing where the military operational flying areas are – and how to avoid that airspace – is crucial to a safe flight," the agency notes.

The FAA also wants safety officers at military bases to use SeeAndAvoid.org to develop new educational programs about how to avoid midair collisions involving military aircraft, as well as public outreach efforts to help reduce occurrences.

The website also includes better integration with the FAA's Special Use Airspace site, as well as the agency's military deconfliction program (MADE.) SeeAndAvoid.org also utilizes information from GA industry organizations, most notably the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association's Air Safety Institute.

The revised website went live in mid-July. In the coming months, the FAA will update the site with a user's guide describing specific features of the site.