Palm Springs Airport

Jan. 27, 2017

A sweeping airspace optimization project will soon take effect for Southern California, and NBAA encourages its members to take advantage of online resources and public workshops to familiarize themselves with the changes.

In line with similar airspace modernizations over the past three years across North Texas, San Francisco, and other regions, the Southern California Metroplex project will convert existing STAR and SID procedures to 21 area airports – including Los Angeles International (LAX), San Diego International (SAN), Santa Monica Municipal (SMO) and Van Nuys (VNY) – to performance based navigation utilizing area navigation procedures.

“In total, about 65 new procedures are scheduled to go live on March 2,” said Heidi Williams, NBAA’s director of air traffic services and infrastructure. “The changeover also includes a new T-route and other revisions, but business aircraft operators should find that most of the changes largely align with existing procedures.

“Of course, there are always some potential hiccups to overcome whenever you flip the switch on such an endeavor,” continued Williams. “A critical aspect of a successful changeover is education and outreach, and NBAA members are encouraged to participate in the public information initiatives now underway.”

In addition to webinars about the impending airspace changes, the FAA will also hold a series of workshops across Southern California detailing airport-specific procedures.

Learn more about the FAA workshops.

Once completed, the FAA expects the optimizations to yield $7.8 million in annual fuel savings for area operators, as well as significant reductions to carbon emissions and noise pollution to surrounding communities.

“NBAA has long supported the FAA’s metroplex initiatives because, in addition to improving the safety and efficiency of business aircraft operations, these optimizations also help our industry be a ‘good neighbor’ and more environmentally friendly,” said Williams.

Updated aeronautical charts detailing the new procedures will be available ahead of the March 2 changeover. Earlier this month, the FAA also launched discussions on its next large airspace optimization project in Las Vegas, NV.