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Proposed Rule

Proposed Amendment of Class C Airspace; El Paso International Airport, TX

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

This action proposes to modify Class C airspace at El Paso International Airport, El Paso, TX, by removing a cutout from the Class C airspace area that excludes the airspace within a 2-mile radius of West Texas Airport and the airspace beyond an 8-mile arc from the El Paso International Airport beginning at the 115° bearing from the airport clockwise to the Rio Grande River. Additionally, this proposal would update the El Paso International Airport geographic coordinates to reflect the current airport reference point (ARP) information in the FAA's aeronautical database and remove the West Texas Airport and geographic coordinate references from the Class C airspace description. The FAA is proposing this action to enable more efficient operations at El Paso International Airport.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before October 17, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Start Printed Page 54753Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001; telephone: 1 (800) 647-5527, or (202) 366-9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2016-7417 and Airspace Docket No. 16-AWA-4 at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov.

You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Office (telephone 1(800) 647-5527), is on the ground floor of the building at the above address.

FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at http://www.faa.gov/​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 http://www.archives.gov/​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.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Colby Abbott, Airspace Policy Group, Office of Airspace Services, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-8783.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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. Subtitle 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 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 would modify terminal airspace as required to preserve the safe and efficient flow of air traffic in the El Paso, TX, area.

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-2016-7417 and Airspace Docket No. 16-AWA-4) 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 http://www.regulations.gov.

Commenters 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-2016-7417 and Airspace Docket No. 16-AWA-4.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

All communications received on or before the specified comment closing date 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 comment closing date. 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 http://www.regulations.gov.

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 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the office of the Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, 10101 Hillwood Blvd., Fort Worth, TX, 76177.

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

This document proposes to amend 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 Proposal

The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 to modify the El Paso International Airport, TX, Class C airspace area. The proposal would remove a cutout and reduced perimeter boundary arc that excludes the airspace within a 2-mile radius of the West Texas Airport and the airspace beyond an 8-mile arc from the El Paso International Airport beginning at the 115° bearing from the airport clockwise to the Rio Grande River. These exclusions from the Class C airspace area were established to accommodate operations at West Texas Airport, which was located approximately 9 nautical miles (NM) southeast of El Paso International Airport. The West Texas Airport (renamed Horizon Airport in 2004) is now permanently closed and the property sold for non-aviation uses. Since the original purpose for the exclusions no longer exists, the FAA is proposing to remove the words “. . . that airspace beyond an 8-mile arc from the El Paso International Airport beginning at the 115° bearing from the airport clockwise to the Rio Grande River, and that airspace within a 2-mile radius of the West Texas Airport, and . . .” from the regulatory text. The West Texas Airport and geographic coordinate references would also be removed from the Class C airspace description. These changes would restore the Class C airspace that extends upward from 5,200 feet MSL to 8,000 feet MSL to a standard configuration 10-NM radius boundary southeast of the El Paso International Airport and enhance the management of aircraft operations to and from the airport.

Additionally, the FAA would change the exclusion language pertaining to the Class C airspace extending upward from 5,200 feet MSL from “. . . that airspace within Mexico, and that airspace west of long 106°27′02″ W.” to “. . . that airspace west of long. 106°27′02″ W., and that airspace within Mexico.” This change would be editorial for format and clarity to standardize the exclusion Start Printed Page 54754information associated with the Class C airspace surface area and shelf.

Lastly, this action would update the El Paso International Airport geographic coordinates to reflect the current ARP information in the FAA's aeronautical database from “lat. 31°48′24″ N., long. 106°22′40″ W.” to “lat. 31°48′26″ N., long. 106°22′35″ W.”

Class C airspace areas are published in paragraph 4000 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 C airspace area modification proposed in this document would be published subsequently in the Order.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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. It, therefore: (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.

Environmental Review

This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

  • Airspace
  • Incorporation by reference
  • Navigation (air)
End List of Subjects

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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PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS

End Part Start Amendment Part

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

End Amendment Part Start Authority

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.

End Authority
[Amended]
Start Amendment Part

2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of the FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows:

End Amendment Part

Paragraph 4000—Subpart C—Class C Airspace

* * * * *

ASW TX C El Paso International Airport, TX [Amended]

El Paso International Airport, TX

(Lat. 31°48′26″ N., long. 106°22′35″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 8,000 feet MSL within a 5-mile radius of the El Paso International Airport, excluding that airspace west of long. 106°27′02″ W., and that airspace within Mexico; and that airspace extending upward from 5,200 feet MSL to and including 8,000 feet MSL within a 10-mile radius of the El Paso International Airport, excluding that airspace west of long. 106°27′02″ W., and that airspace within Mexico.

Start Signature

Issued in Washington, DC, on August 10, 2016.

M. Randy Willis,

Acting Manager, Airspace Policy Group.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2016-19556 Filed 8-16-16; 8:45 am]

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