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Modification of Colored Federal Airway B-1; Alaska

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Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.


Final rule.


This action renames Blue Federal airway B-1 in Alaska to B-12. This is necessary due to an automation issue that conflicts with an identically named airway in Taiwan. No air traffic services with be affected by this action.


Effective date 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 7400.11A and publication of conforming amendments.


FAA Order 7400.11A, 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 7400.11A at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to​federal_​register/​code_​of_​federal-regulations/​ibr_​locations.html.

FAA Order 7400.11, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15.

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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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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 modifies the air traffic service route structure in the northwest United States to maintain the efficient flow of air traffic.


Recently, Anchorage Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) automation was rejecting certain flight plans. The FAA discovered that the rejected flight plans contained the airway in Taiwan, B-1. This number is also used to identify a route in southern Alaska. When Anchorage ARTCC automation tried to parse the route, it would attempt to reconcile the filed Taiwanese airway, B-1, with the fixes stored in the Anchorage database. The fixes would not match and the flight plan would fail the logic check and be rejected, resulting in labor-intensive manual coordination.

Colored Federal airways are published in paragraph 6009 of FAA Order 7400.11 dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Colored Federal airway listed in this document will be subsequently amended in the Order.

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

This document amends FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016. FAA Order 7400.11A is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11A lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

The Rule

The FAA is amending Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by removing Colored Federal airway B-1 and adding the identical Colored Federal airway B-12, effectively renaming it. This action does not affect any air traffic services. Therefore, notice and public procedures under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are unnecessary.

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. 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 only affects air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when Start Printed Page 66181promulgated, 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, and its agency implementing regulations in FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” regarding categorical exclusions for procedural actions at paragraph 5-6.5k, which categorically excludes from full environmental impact review actions that include, “Publication of existing air traffic control procedures that do not essentially change existing tracks, create new tracks, change altitude, or change concentration of aircraft on these tracks.” Since this procedural action consists only of a name change from Blue Federal airway B-1 in Alaska to B-12 to de-conflict with an identically named airway in Taiwan, this name change action is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts. In accordance with FAAO 1050.1F, paragraph 5-2 regarding Extraordinary Circumstances, this action has been reviewed for factors and circumstances in which a normally categorically excluded action may have a significant environmental impact requiring further analysis, and it is determined that no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

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List 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 7400.11A Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016 and effective September 15, 2016, is amended as follows:

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Paragraph 6009(d)—Blue Federal airways.

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B-1 [Removed]

B-12 [New]

From Woody Island, AK, NDB to Iliamna, AK, NDB.

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Issued in Washington, DC, on September 19, 2016.

Leslie M. Swann,

Acting Manager, Airspace Policy Group.

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[FR Doc. 2016-23116 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am]