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Proposed Rule

Proposed Amendment of Class D Airspace and Amendment and Revocation of the Class E Airspace; Multiple Texas Towns

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

This action proposes to amend Class D airspace at Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport, Conroe, TX; Scholes International Airport at Galveston, Galveston, TX; and Sugar Land Regional Airport, Houston, TX; amend Class E surface airspace at Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport, Scholes International Airport at Galveston, and Sugar Land Regional Airport; revoke the Class E airspace designated as an extension to a Class E surface area at Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport, Temple, TX; amend the Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Chambers County Airport, Anahuac, TX; Scholes International Airport at Galveston; Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport; Texas Gulf Coast Regional Airport, Angleton/Lake Jackson, TX; and Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport; and remove Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Wood No. 2 Airport, Brookshire, TX, and Covey Trails Airport, Fulshear, TX, which are contained within the Houston, TX, airspace legal description. The FAA is proposing this action as the result of the decommissioning of the Hobby and Temple VHF omnidirectional range (VOR) navigation aids, which provided navigation information for the instrument procedures at these airports, as part of the VOR Minimum Operational Network (MON) Program. The geographic coordinates of Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport, Chambers County Airport, and Texas Gulf Coast Regional Airport, and the names of Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport, Scholes International Airport at Galveston, and Texas Gulf Coast Regional Airport would also be updated to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before January 27, 2020.

ADDRESSES:

Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590; telephone (202) 366-9826, or (800) 647-5527. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2019-0808; Airspace Docket No. 19-ASW-12, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the internet at https://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 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.

FAA Order 7400.11D, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at https://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 7400.11D at NARA, email fedreg.legal@nara.gov or go to https://www.archives.gov/​federal-register/​cfr/​ibr-locations.html.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

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, Start Printed Page 67887Subpart 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 D airspace at Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport, Conroe, TX; Scholes International Airport at Galveston, Galveston, TX; and Sugar Land Regional Airport, Houston, TX; amend Class E surface airspace at Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport, Scholes International Airport at Galveston, and Sugar Land Regional Airport; revoke the Class E airspace designated as an extension to a Class E surface area at Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport, Temple, TX; amend the Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Chambers County Airport, Anahuac, TX; Scholes International Airport at Galveston; Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport; Texas Gulf Coast Regional Airport, Angleton/Lake Jackson, TX; and Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport; and remove Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Wood No. 2 Airport, Brookshire, TX, and Covey Trails Airport, Fulshear, TX, to support instrument flight rule operations at these airports.

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 and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2019-0808/Airspace Docket No. 19-ASW-12.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

All communications received before the specified closing date for comments will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this notice may be changed in light of the comments received. 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 https://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's web page at https://www.faa.gov/​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 the ADDRESSES section for the 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 Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Organization, Central Service Center, Operations Support Group, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

This document proposes to amend FAA Order 7400.11D, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 8, 2019, and effective September 15, 2019. FAA Order 7400.11D is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11D 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 by:

Amending the Class D airspace to within a 4.8-mile radius (increased from a 4.1-mile radius) of Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport, Conroe, TX; removing the Navasota VORTAC and Humble VORTAC and associated exclusion area from the airspace legal description; amending the exclusion area to “. . . excluding that airspace from lat. 30°25′24″ N, long. 95°22′11″ W to lat. 30°23′32″ N, long. 95°22′51″ W to lat. 30°23′12″ N, long. 95°19′51″ W”; updating the name and geographic coordinates of Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport (previously Lone Star Executive Airport) to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database; and replacing the outdated term “Airport/Facility Directory” with “Chart Supplement”;

Amending the Class D airspace at Scholes International Airport at Galveston (previously Scholes INTL at Galveston), Galveston, TX, by updating the name of the airport to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database; correcting the header of the airspace legal description from “Galveston, Galveston, TX” to “Galveston, TX”; and replacing the outdated term “Airport/Facility Directory” with “Chart Supplement”;

Amending the Class D airspace to within a 4.2-mile radius (decreased from a 5.8-mile radius) of Sugar Land Regional Airport, Houston, TX; correcting the header of the airspace legal description from “Houston Sugar Land, TX” to “Houston, TX” to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database; removing the city associated with the airport from the airspace legal description to comply with FAA Order 7400.2M, Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters; and removing “(previously called Airport/Facility Directory)” as it is no longer needed;

Amending the Class E surface airspace to within a 4.8-mile radius (increased from a 4.1-mile radius) of Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport, Conroe, TX; removing the Navasota VORTAC and Humble VORTAC and associated exclusion area from the airspace legal description; amending the exclusion area to “. . . excluding that airspace from lat. 30°25′24″ N, long. 95°22′11″ W to lat. 30°23′32″ N, long. 95°22′51″ W to lat. 30°23′12″ N, long. 95°19′51″ W”; updating the name and geographic coordinates of Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport (previously Lone Star Executive Airport) to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database; and replacing the outdated term “Airport/Facility Directory” with “Chart Supplement”;

Amending the Class E surface airspace at Scholes International Airport at Galveston (previously Scholes INTL at Galveston), Galveston, TX, by updating the name of the airport to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database; and replacing the outdated term “Airport/Facility Directory” with “Chart Supplement”;

Amending the Class E surface airspace to within a 4.2-mile radius (decreased from a 5.8-mile radius) of Sugar Land Regional Airport, Houston, TX; correcting the header of the airspace legal description from “Houston Sugar Land, TX” to “Houston, TX” to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database; removing the city associated with the airport from the airspace legal description to comply with FAA Order 7400.2M,; and removing “(previously Start Printed Page 67888called Airport/Facility Directory)” as it is no longer needed;

Amending the Class E surface airspace at Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport, Temple, TX, by removing the city associated with the airport in the airspace legal description to comply with FAA Order 7400.2M;

Removing the Class E airspace area designated as an extension to a Class E surface area at Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport, Temple, TX, as it is no longer needed;

Amending the Class E airspace area extending upward from 700 feet above the surface to within a 6.1-mile radius (decreased from a 6.3-mile radius) at Chambers County Airport, Anahuac, TX; removing the Anahuac RBN and associated extension from the airspace legal description; and updating the geographic coordinates of the airport to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database;

Amending the Class E airspace area extending upward from 700 feet above the surface by removing the Chambers County Airport, Anahuac, TX, and associated exclusion area from the Houston, TX, airspace legal description as it is no longer needed; to within a 6.6-mile radius (decreased from a 7.6-mile radius) of Scholes International Airport at Galveston, Galveston, TX, which is contained within the Houston, TX, airspace legal description; removing the city associated with the Scholes International Airport from the airspace legal description to comply with FAA Order 7400.2M; removing Woods No. 2 Airport, Brookshire, TX, and Covey Trails Airport, Fulshear, TX, which are contained within the Houston, TX, airspace legal description from the Houston, TX airspace legal description, and revoking the associated Class E airspace area extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at these airports as the instrument procedures at these airports have been cancelled and the airspace is no longer required; to within a 7.3-mile radius (increased from a 6.6-mile radius) of Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport, Conroe, TX, which is contained within the Houston, TX, airspace legal description; and amending the airspace boundary from “. . . thence from lat. 29°17′04″ N, long. 95°00′13″ W. . . .” to “. . . thence from lat. 29°16′48″ N, long. 94°59′06″ W. . .”; updating the names of Scholes International Airport at Galveston (previously Scholes International at Galveston) and Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport (previously Lone Star Executive Airport) to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database; and updating the geographic coordinates of Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database;

Amending the Class E airspace area extending upward from 700 feet above the surface to within a 6.6-mile radius (decreased from a 6.7-mile radius) of Texas Gulf Coast Regional Airport, Angleton/Lake Jackson, TX; updating the header of the airspace legal description from “Lake Jackson, TX” to “Angleton/Lake Jackson, TX” to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database; removing the city associated with the airport from the airspace legal description to comply with FAA Order 7400.2M; and updating the name and geographic coordinates of the Texas Gulf Coast Regional Airport (previously Brazoria County Airport) to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database;

And amending the Class E airspace area extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport, Temple, TX, by removing the city associated with the airport to comply with FAA Order 7400.2M; updating the name of the Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional: RWY 15-LOC (previously Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Localizer) to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database; removing the Temple VOR and associated extension from the airspace legal description; removing the extension southwest of the airport as it is no longer needed; and amending the extension northwest of the airport to within 4 miles either side of the 343° (previously 336°) bearing of the Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional: RWY 15-LOC extending from the 6.7-mile radius to 14.2 miles (previously 14.4 miles) northwest of the airport.

These actions are the result of airspace reviews caused by the decommissioning of the Hobby and Temple VORs, which provided navigation information for the instrument procedures at these airports, as part of the VOR MON Program.

Class D and E airspace designations are published in paragraph 5000, 6002, 6004 and 6005, respectively, of FAA Order 7400.11D, dated August 8, 2019, and effective September 15, 2019, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class D and E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

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

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 will only affect air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, would 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

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

Start Part

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 14 CFR 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 FAA Order 7400.11D, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 8, 2019, and effective September 15, 2019, is amended as follows:

End Amendment Part

Paragraph 5000 Class D Airspace.

* * * * *

ASW TX D Conroe, TX [Amended]

Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport, TX

(Lat. 30°21′12″ N, long. 95°24′54″ W)

That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 2,700 feet MSL within a 4.8-mile radius of Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport, excluding that airspace from lat. 30°25′24″ N, long. Start Printed Page 6788995°22′11″ W to lat. 30°23′32″ N, long. 95°22′51″ W to lat. 30°23′12″ N, long. 95°19′51″ W. This Class D airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

* * * * *

ASW TX D Galveston, TX [Amended]

Scholes International Airport at Galveston, TX

(Lat. 29°15′55″ N, long. 94°51′38″ W)

That airspace extending upward from the surface up to but not including 2,500 feet MSL within a 4.1-mile radius of Scholes International Airport at Galveston. This Class D airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

* * * * *

ASW TX D Houston, TX [Amended]

Sugar Land Regional Airport, TX

(Lat. 29°37′20″ N, long. 95°39′24″ W)

That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 2,600 feet MSL within a 4.2-mile radius of Sugar Land Regional Airport. This Class D airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

Paragraph 6002 Class E Airspace Areas Designated as Surface Areas.

* * * * *

ASW TX E2 Conroe, TX [Amended]

Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport, TX

(Lat. 30°21′12″ N, long. 95°24′54″ W)

That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 2,700 feet MSL within a 4.8-mile radius of Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport, excluding that airspace from lat. 30°25′24″ N, long. 95°22′11″ W to lat. 30°23′32″ N, long. 95°22′51″ W to lat. 30°23′12″ N, long. 95°19′51″ W. This Class E airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

* * * * *

ASW TX E2 Galveston, TX [Amended]

Scholes International Airport at Galveston, TX

(Lat. 29°15′55″ N, long. 94°51′38″ W)

That airspace extending upward from the surface up to but not including 2,500 feet MSL within a 4.1-mile radius of Scholes International Airport at Galveston. This Class E airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

* * * * *

ASW TX E2 Houston, TX [Amended]

Sugar Land Regional Airport, TX

(Lat. 29°37′20″ N, long. 95°39′24″ W)

That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 2,600 feet MSL within a 4.2-mile radius of Sugar Land Regional Airport. This Class E airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

* * * * *

ASW TX E2 Temple, TX [Amended]

Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport, TX

(Lat. 31°09′07″ N, long. 97°24′28″W)

Within a 4.2-mile radius of Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport. This Class E airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

Paragraph 6004 Class E Airspace Areas Designated as an Extension to a Class D or Class E Surface Area.

* * * * *

ASW TX E4 Temple, TX [Removed]

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

* * * * *

ASW TX E5 Anahuac, TX [Amended]

Chambers County Airport, TX

(Lat. 29°46′11″ N, long. 94°39′49″ W)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.1-mile radius of Chambers County Airport.

* * * * *

ASW TX E5 Houston, TX [Amended]

Point of Origin

(Lat. 30°35′01″ N, long. 95°28′01″ W)

Scholes International Airport at Galveston, TX

(Lat. 29°15′55″ N, long. 94°51′38″ W)

Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport, TX

(Lat. 30°21′12″ N, long. 95°24′54″ W)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within an area bounded by a line beginning at the Point of Origin to lat. 29°45′00″ N, long. 94°44′01″ W; thence from lat. 29°45′00″ N, long. 94°44′01″ W to a point of tangency with the east arc of a 6.6-mile radius of Scholes International Airport at Galveston, and within a 6.6-mile radius of Scholes International Airport at Galveston; thence from lat. 29°16′48″ N, long. 94°59′06″ W; to lat. 29°30′01″ N, long. 95°54′01″ W; to lat. 30°26′01″ N, long. 95°42′01″ W; to the Point of Origin, and within a 7.3-mile radius of Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport.

* * * * *

ASW TX E5 Angleton/Lake Jackson, TX [Amended]

Texas Gulf Coast Regional Airport, TX

(Lat. 29°06′31″ N, long. 95°27′44″ W)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.6-mile radius of Texas Gulf Coast Regional Airport.

* * * * *

ASW TX E5 Temple, TX [Amended]

Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport, TX

(Lat. 31°09′07″ N, long. 97°24′28″ W)

Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional: RWY 15-LOC

(Lat. 31°08′20″ N, long. 97°24′16″ W)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.7-mile radius of Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport, and within 4 miles either side of the 343° bearing of the Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional: RWY 15-LOC extending from the 6.7-mile radius to 14.2 miles northwest of the airport.

Start Signature

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on December 4, 2019.

Steve Szukala,

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

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2019-26608 Filed 12-11-19; 8:45 am]

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