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Proposed Rule

Proposed Amendment of the Atlantic Low Offshore Airspace Area; East Coast United States

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

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Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.


Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).


This action proposes to amend the altitude floor of the Atlantic Low Offshore Airspace Area, located off the east coast of the United States (U.S.). The FAA is proposing to lower the floor of the area from 5,500 feet above mean sea level (MSL) to 1,700 feet MSL. This action would provide additional altitudes for air traffic control to vector aircraft on arrival to Atlantic City, NJ, ensuring the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace within the National Airspace System.


Comments must be received on or before March 9, 2009.


Send comments on the proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001; telephone: (202) 366-9826. You must identify the docket number FAA-2008-1170 and Airspace Docket No. 08-AEA-27 at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments on the Internet at

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Paul Gallant, Airspace and Rules Group, Office of System Operations Airspace and AIM, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-8783.

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Comments Invited

Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal.

Communications should identify both docket numbers (FAA Docket No. FAA-2008-1170 and Airspace Docket No. 08-AEA-27) and be submitted in triplicate to the Docket Management Facility (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number). You may also submit comments through the Internet at

Commenter's wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this action must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to FAA Docket No. FAA-2008-1170 and Airspace Docket No. 08-AEA-27.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

All communications received on or before the specified closing date for comments will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this action may be changed in light of comments received. All comments submitted will be available for examination in the public docket both before and after the closing date for comments. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

Availability of NPRMs

An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's Web page at​airports_​airtraffic/​air_​traffic/​publications/​airspace_​amendments/​.

You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the office of the Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, Room 210, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, Georgia 30337.

Persons interested in being placed on a mailing list for future NPRM's should contact the FAA's Office of Rulemaking, (202) 267-9677, for a copy of Advisory Circular No. 11-2A, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Distribution System, which describes the application procedure.

The Proposal

The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 to modify the designated altitude floor of the Atlantic Low Offshore Airspace Area. The proposed change would lower the floor of the area from 5,500 feet MSL to 1,700 feet MSL. Currently, Air Traffic Control (ATC) cannot vector arriving aircraft below 5,500 feet MSL while operating within the Atlantic Low Offshore Airspace Area. The proposed change would provide additional controlled airspace so that ATC could use lower altitudes while vectoring aircraft on arrival to Atlantic City, NJ. The change would increase ATC system efficiency and reduce complexity at Atlantic City.

Offshore airspace areas are published in paragraph 6007, of FAA Order 7400.9S signed October 3, 2008, and effective October 31, 2008, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The offshore airspace area listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

The FAA has determined that this proposed regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. Therefore, this proposed regulation: (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under Department of Transportation (DOT) Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that will only affect air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this proposed rule, when promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, Start Printed Page 3466describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority.

This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of the airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it modifies the low offshore airspace area in New Jersey.

ICAO Considerations

As part of this proposal relates to navigable airspace outside the United States, this notice is submitted in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) International Standards and Recommended Practices.

The application of International Standards and Recommended Practices by the FAA, Office of System Operations Airspace and AIM, Airspace & Rules Group, in areas outside the United States domestic airspace, is governed by the Convention on International Civil Aviation. Specifically, the FAA is governed by Article 12 and Annex 11, which pertain to the establishment of necessary air navigational facilities and services to promote the safe, orderly, and expeditious flow of civil air traffic. The purpose of Article 12 and Annex 11 is to ensure that civil aircraft operations on international air routes are performed under uniform conditions.

The International Standards and Recommended Practices in Annex 11 apply to airspace under the jurisdiction of a contracting state, derived from ICAO. Annex 11 provisions apply when air traffic services are provided and a contracting state accepts the responsibility of providing air traffic services over high seas or in airspace of undetermined sovereignty. A contracting state accepting this responsibility may apply the International Standards and Recommended Practices that are consistent with standards and practices utilized in its domestic jurisdiction.

In accordance with Article 3 of the Convention, state-owned aircraft are exempt from the Standards and Recommended Practices of Annex 11. The United States is a contracting state to the Convention. Article 3(d) of the Convention provides that participating state aircraft will be operated in international airspace with due regard for the safety of civil aircraft. Since this action involves, in part, the designation of navigable airspace outside the United States, the Administrator is consulting with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense in accordance with the provisions of Executive Order 10854.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

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The Proposed Amendment

In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

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1. The authority citation for part 71 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 389.

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2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9S, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, signed October 3, 2008, and effective October 31, 2008, is amended as follows:

Paragraph 6007 Offshore Airspace Areas.

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Atlantic Low [Amended]

That airspace extending upward from 1,700 feet MSL bounded on the east by the Moncton FIR and the New York Oceanic CTA/FIR, on the south by lat. 34°00′00″ N., on the west and north by a line 12 miles from and parallel to the U.S. shoreline, excluding Federal airways and the East Coast Low offshore airspace area.

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Issued in Washington, DC, on January 12, 2009.

Edith V. Parish,

Manager, Airspace and Rules Group.

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[FR Doc. E9-1108 Filed 1-16-09; 8:45 am]