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Amendment of Class E Airspace; Taos, NM

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Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.


Final rule.


This action modifies Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Taos Regional Airport, Taos, NM. Decommissioning of non-directional radio beacon (NDB) and cancellation of the NDB approaches due to advances in Global Positioning System (GPS) capabilities have made this action necessary for the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at Taos Regional Airport.


Effective 0901 UTC, January 5, 2017. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.9 and publication of conforming amendments.


FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at​air_​traffic/​publications/​. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: 202-267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of FAA Order 7400.9Z at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to​federal_​register/​code_​of_​federal-regulations/​ibr_​locations.html.

FAA Order 7400.9, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15.

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Jeffrey Claypool, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5711.

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Authority for This Rulemaking

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. Start Printed Page 34880Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes 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 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 would amend Class E airspace at Taos Regional Airport, Taos, NM.


On March 7, 2016, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to modify Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Taos Regional Airport, Taos, NM (81 FR 11695). Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. One comment was received from Mr. Robert Pigott, Aeronautical Information Services, requesting clarification of the overlapping 1,200 foot airspace to the west of Taos Regional Airport. This airspace existed prior to the proposed amendment and was not changed by the amendment. The 1,200 foot airspace exists to protect the departures and climb out requirements to the west due to high terrain east of the airport and allows departing aircraft to reach controlled airspace, and was developed in accordance with FAA Joint Order 7400.2K, Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters. The FAA found no reason to change the 1,200 foot airspace at this time.

Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6005 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

This document amends FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015. FAA Order 7400.9Z is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.9Z lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

The Rule

This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 modifies Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Taos Regional Airport, Taos, NM. After review, the FAA found that with the decommissioning of NDBs, removal of NDB approaches, and implementation of area navigation (RNAV) instrument approaches the extension to the northwest from the 6.5-mile radius to 9.4 miles of the Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface was no longer requires in accordance with airspace requirements specified in FAA Joint Order 7400.2K.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current, is non-controversial and unlikely to result in adverse or negative comments. It, therefore: (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under 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 only affects air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

Environmental Review

The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,” paragraph 5-6.5.a. This airspace action is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

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Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

  • Airspace
  • Incorporation by reference
  • Navigation (air)
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Adoption of the Amendment

In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 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(f), 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 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows:

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Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth

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ASW NM E5 Taos, NM [Amended]

Taos Regional Airport, NM

(Lat. 36°27′29″ N., long. 105°40′21″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of Taos Regional Airport; and that airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface beginning at lat. 36°07′00″ N., long. 105°47′42″ W., thence via the 21.3-mile arc of Taos Regional Airport clockwise to lat. 36°48′00″ N., long. 105°47′35″ W., thence to lat. 36°30′00″ N., long. 105°30′02″ W., thence to the point of beginning.

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Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 18, 2016.

Walter Tweedy,

Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.

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[FR Doc. 2016-12639 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am]