Nov. 14, 2016

With the latest military training operation scheduled to begin shortly within the sprawling Powder River Training Complex (PRTC) over the Northwest U.S., NBAA is seeking feedback from community stakeholders, to ensure this and similar exercises have minimal impact on business aviation flights.

The large force exercise (LFE) – the fourth since the PRTC was activated in September 2015 – will take place Nov. 15-17. On Wednesday, Nov. 16, NBAA representatives will meet with industry stakeholders and officials at Ellsworth AFB in Rapid City, SD to discuss the PRTC’s impact on operations since implementation.

“NBAA has been actively engaged with USAF officials since the PRTC was first proposed nearly 10 years ago,” said Bob Lamond, NBAA’s director of air traffic services and infrastructure. “These ongoing discussions have already proven beneficial in making sure that business aviation operations may continue with minimum to no delay during these important training exercises.”

Learn more about the upcoming LFE.

Nearly 10 years in development, the PRTC encompasses large portions airspace over North and South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming for training USAF B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress bomber crews operating from Ellsworth and Minot Air Force Bases.

NBAA Northwestern Regional Representative Kristi Ivey invited concerned stakeholders to contact her at kivey@nbaa.org and share their own experiences with operating within the PRTC.

“This feedback provides necessary information to pass along to USAF officials as all parties work to strike the right balance between the military’s training needs and the requirements and concerns of civilian operators,” she said.

Slated to ultimately encompass more than 28,000 square miles, the PRTC consolidated two large military operations areas (MOAs), and associated airspace into 18 MOAs, with an additional 12 sections available for expansion when needed.

Three, 8-mile wide corridors (called “gaps”) provide paths separating training areas from civil VFR and IFR traffic, with additional “low” and “high” areas over much of the airspace to further lessen the impact to GA and airline operations.