June 26, 2015

NBAA is encouraged by the FAA’s recently published Draft Environmental Assessment for the Southern California Metroplex project, which is a comprehensive initiative to improve the flow of air traffic into and out of the Southern California region as part of the FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation System.

The Southern California Metroplex is one of more than a dozen Metroplex projects currently underway or planned by the FAA. Each project will replace dozens of existing conventional air traffic procedures with new satellite-based procedures, thereby making the airspace safer and more efficient.

The Southern California Metroplex project alone includes 109 new satellite-based procedures including 50 departures, 37 arrivals and 22 approach procedures. The project also expands the number of entry and exit points into and out of the Southern California airspace, which is like creating more on- and off-ramps in the sky.

Many of the current air traffic procedures in Southern California are decades old, according to the FAA, and while they are all safe, some are inefficient because they rely on ground-based navigation aids, which limit available flight paths.

“The Draft Environmental Assessment is the next step in moving the Southern California Metroplex project forward,” said Bob Lamond, NBAA’s director of air traffic services and infrastructure. “NBAA has been involved in the Southern California Metroplex work for several years, and we are very supportive of these proposed new procedures, which we expect to be implemented in March of 2016.”

The FAA is accepting public comment on the assessment through July 10.

Read more about the FAA’s Southern California Draft Environmental Assessment.