May 28, 2021

NBAA, along with other aviation groups, recently requested the U.S. Departments of Transportation and Defense (DOT and DOD) include industry representatives in planning and implementation discussions for real-time status of Military Operations Areas (MOAs) and Special Use Areas (SUAs).

To improve airspace management, the National Defense Authorization Act for 2021 requires the automated public notification of the real-time status of MOAs and SUAs. This information would be available to the public for the first time and disseminated in a manner similar to a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR).

NBAA and other industry representatives brought this issue to DOT and DOD over a decade ago. While the public has data on scheduled use of military aircraft, there has never been a point of access to real-time use data.

Lack of real-time status of MOAs and SUAs results in cancelled flights, increased fuel and operating costs, pilot deviations and operational errors due to poor communication or misunderstanding.

Providing all airspace stakeholders with real-time data for this airspace will improve safety and shorten flight tracks, reducing carbon emissions and operating costs. In fact, one study suggests such a system could result in potential fuel savings of $100 million.

“We welcome the deployment of such a system, as it will be a positive development for civilian and military aviation operations, our environment, and will not negatively impact our nation’s war fighter training tempo,” wrote the aviation groups in a letter to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III.

The associations emphasized the inclusion of aviation industry representatives will provide important expertise and expedite the implementation of a real-time dissemination system.

“NBAA and our industry partners are confident the expertise of seasoned aviation industry representatives will result in a more effective product completed on a more efficient timeline than a group with no aviation industry stakeholder representation,” said Heidi Williams, NBAA’s director of air traffic services and infrastructure. “We are optimistic Secretary Buttigieg and Secretary Austin will agree.”