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Amendment of VOR Federal Airway V-159 in the Vicinity of Hamilton, AL

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Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.


Final rule.


This action modifies VHF Omnidirectional Range (VOR) Federal airway V-159 due to the planned decommissioning of the Hamilton, AL, VORTAC navigation aid which provides navigation guidance segments of the route. The Hamilton VORTAC is being Start Printed Page 13000decommissioned as part of the FAA's VOR Minimum Operational Network (MON) program.


Effective date 0901 UTC, May 21, 2020. 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 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.


FAA Order 7400.11D, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at​air_​traffic/​publications/​. For further information, you can contact the Rules and Regulations 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: or go to​federal-register/​cfr/​ibr-locations.html.

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Paul Gallant, Rules and Regulations Group, Office of Policy, 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 National Airspace System as necessary to preserve the safe and efficient flow of air traffic.


The FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking for Docket No. FAA-2019-0431 in the Federal Register (84 FR 28434; June 19, 2019), amending VOR Federal airway V-159 due to the planned decommissioning of the Hamilton, AL, VORTAC. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal. No comments were received.

VOR Federal airways are published in paragraph 6010(a) 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 VOR Federal airway listed in this document will be subsequently published in the Order.

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

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

This document amends 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 Rule

V-159 currently extends between the Virginia Key, FL, VOR/DME and the Huron, SD, VORTAC. This rule removes the segments of V-159 between the Vulcan, AL, VORTAC, and the Holly Springs, MS, VORTAC. This is due to the planned decommissioning of the Hamilton, AL, VORTAC which provides navigation guidance for the route between Vulcan and Holly Springs. As amended, V-159 consists of two sections. The first section extends between Virginia Key, FL, and Vulcan, AL, as currently charted. This is followed by a gap in the route between Vulcan, AL, and Holly Springs, MS. The second section extends between Holly Springs, MS, and Huron, SD, as currently charted.

To mitigate the removal of V-159 between Vulcan, AL, and Holly Springs, MS, a low altitude area navigation (RNAV) route, designated T-239, was established effective January 30, 2020 (84 FR 28434; June 19, 2019). T-239 extends between the Pecan, GA, VOR/DME, and the GOINS, MS, waypoint (near the Holly Springs, MS, VORTAC). T-239 replaces V-159 between Vulcan, AL and Holly Springs, MS, and also overlies those parts of V-159 between Pecan, GA, and Vulcan, AL. Alternative routing for VOR navigation between Vulcan, AL, and Holly Springs, MS, is available via existing airway V-7 between Vulcan, AL, and the Muscle Shoals, AL, VORTAC; then airway V-54 between Muscle Shoals and Holly Springs.

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 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

The FAA has determined that this action of modifying VOR Federal airway V-159 near Hamilton, AL, qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act and its implementing regulations at 40 CFR part 1500, and in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures, paragraph 5-6.5a, which categorically excludes from further environmental impact review rulemaking actions that designate or modify classes of airspace areas, airways, routes, and reporting points (see 14 CFR part 71, Designation of Class A, B, C, D, and E Airspace Areas; Air Traffic Service Routes; and Reporting Points). As such, this action is not expected to result in any potentially significant environmental impacts. In accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, paragraph 5-2 regarding Extraordinary Circumstances, the FAA has reviewed this action for factors and circumstances in which a normally categorically excluded action may have a significant environmental impact requiring further analysis. The FAA has determined that no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment or environmental impact study.

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

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Paragraph 6010(a) Domestic VOR Federal Airways.

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V-159 [Amended]

From Virginia Key, FL: INT Virginia Key 344° and Treasure, FL, 178° radials; Treasure; INT Treasure 318° and Orlando, FL, 140° radials; Orlando; Ocala, FL; Cross City, FL; Greenville, FL; Pecan, GA; Eufaula, AL; Tuskegee, AL; to Vulcan, AL. From Holly Springs, MS; Gilmore, AR; Walnut Ridge, AR; Dogwood, MO; Springfield, MO; Napoleon, MO; INT Napoleon 005° and St. Joseph, MO, 122° radials; St. Joseph; Omaha, IA; Sioux City, IA; Yankton, SD; Mitchell, SD; to Huron, SD.

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Issued in Washington, DC, on February 25, 2020.

Scott M. Rosenbloom,

Acting Manager, Rules and Regulations Group.

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[FR Doc. 2020-04418 Filed 3-5-20; 8:45 am]