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Revocation of Class D Airspace; Vancouver, WA

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action removes the Class D airspace at Pearson Field, Vancouver, WA. FAA Joint Order 7400.2K states that non-towered airports requiring a surface area will be designated Class E. Class E surface area airspace was established on December 10, 2015. The FAA is taking this action due to the lack of an operating air traffic control tower at Pearson Field Airport, Vancouver, WA.

DATES:

Effective 0901 UTC, November 10, 2016. 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.

ADDRESSES:

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.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Richard Roberts, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057; telephone (425) 203-4517.

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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 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 remove Class D airspace at Pearson Field Airport, Vancouver, WA.

History

On January 26, 2016, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to remove Class D airspace at Vancouver, WA (81 FR 4220) Docket No. FAA-2015-4133. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. Ten comments were received; nine from individuals and one from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

All expressed concern with the revocation of the Class D airspace prior to establishment of the Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA), Docket No. FAA-2015-3980. The FAA concurs with their expressed concerns and is making the Special Flight Rules Area effective concurrently with the removal of the Class D airspace.

All commenters were concerned with the SFRA being published without containing specific language requested during a Safety Risk Management Panel in 2012 and comments received on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the SFRA Docket. The FAA addresses those comments in the Final Rule for that action, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

Class D airspace designations are published in paragraph 5000 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR part 71.1. The Class E airspace designation 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 removes Class D airspace at Vancouver, WA. FAA Joint Order 7400.2K states that non-towered airports requiring a surface area, the airspace will be designated Class E. There is no operating control tower at Pearson Field Airport, Vancouver, WA, which removes the necessity for the Class D airspace area.

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 5-6.5a. 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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PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS

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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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[Amended]
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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 5000 Class D Airspace.

* * * * *

ANM OR D Vancouver, WA [Removed]

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Issued in Seattle, Washington, on August 26, 2016.

Tracey Johnson,

Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.

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[FR Doc. 2016-21373 Filed 9-9-16; 8:45 am]

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