Sept. 8 2016
The FAA is moving forward with the Southern California Metroplex airspace modernization project, incorporating public input into its final plan and setting a timeline that will see 99 satellite-based procedures put in place by May 2017, improving access to more than 20 airports.
The latest milestone was FAA’s Aug. 31 “finding of no significant impact/record of decision” for the project. This enables the agency to move forward with the plan, which will replace dozens of existing conventional air traffic control procedures with satellite-based procedures.
The new procedures consist of 41 departures, 37 arrivals and 21 approaches. The project includes nine revised satellite-based procedures that were already in place, as well as revised or maintained conventional arrival and departure procedures.
“NBAA’s local members were very supportive of the project, and active in providing feedback during the public comment process,” said Stacy Howard, NBAA’s Western regional representative. “We recognize the positive local impact that the changes will have for both business aviation and the communities it supports here in Southern California.”
The SoCal project, one of more than a dozen Metroplex initiatives throughout the U.S. planned or in progress as part of FAA’s NextGen program, also expands the number of entry and exit points into and out of the Southern California airspace. The project encompasses most of Southern California, and impacts six major airports and 15 satellite airports. Notable business aviation airports covered include Van Nuys Airport (VNY), Burbank Bob Hope Airport (BUR), Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO), Long Beach Airport (LGB) and Palm Springs International Airport (PSP).
“NBAA commends the FAA’s multi-year effort to make the SoCal Metroplex project a reality,” said Bob Lamond, NBAA’s director of air traffic services and infrastructure. “The safer, more efficient procedures being implemented will benefit business aircraft operators and many other airspace users.”
The FAA held 11 public workshops on the project after releasing the draft environmental assessment in June 2015. Agency officials conducted 80 additional briefings for stakeholders, including community groups, tribes, airport officials and local, state and federal officials. The FAA’s environmental analysis showed the proposed action would not result in any significant or reportable noise increases under the National Environmental Policy Act.