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Proposed Rule

Proposed Revocation and Amendment of Class E Airspace; Bucholz Army Airfield Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 67317

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

This action proposes to remove the Class E airspace designated as an extension to the Class D airspace and amend the Class E airspace extending upward from 700 and 1,200 feet above ground level (AGL) at Bucholz Army Airfield (AAF), Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands. The Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet would be amended to ensure it does not extend beyond 12 nautical miles (NM) from the outer shoreline of the Atoll into international airspace.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before December 7, 2020.

ADDRESSES:

Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590; telephone: 1(800) 647-5527, or (202) 366-9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2020-0892; Airspace Docket No. 20-AWP-40 at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the internet at https://www.regulations.gov.

FAA Order 7400.11E, 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 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 7400.11E 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:

Christopher McMullin, Rules and Regulations Group, Office of Policy, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-8783.

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, 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 the route structure as necessary to preserve the safe and efficient flow of air traffic within the National Airspace System.

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-2020-0892; Airspace Docket No. 20-AWP-40) 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 https://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-2020-0892; Airspace Docket No. 20-AWP-40.” 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 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 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 Western Service Center, Operations Support Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198.

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

This document proposes to amend FAA Order 7400.11E, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated July 21, 2020, and effective September 15, 2020. FAA Order 7400.11E is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11E lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

Background

The FAA, in coordination with the United States Army conducted an evaluation of the Bucholz AAF, Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands airspace to ensure it met airspace criteria and was the minimum necessary for terminal air traffic operations at the airport. Upon review, it was determined that the existing airspace and associated amendments accomplished since the Republic of the Marshall Islands achieved self-governance in 1979 and full sovereignty in 1986, have continued without recognition or consideration of that sovereignty. The airspace evaluation revealed that the lateral boundaries of the domestic Class E airspace, extending upward from 1,200 feet AGL, are established in international airspace, beyond 12 NM Start Printed Page 67318from the Atoll. Oakland Oceanic Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) does not use the existing Class E domestic airspace while providing enroute air traffic services, so the additional airspace beyond 12 NM is not required.

The Proposal

The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by removing the Class E airspace designated as an extension to the Class D and modifying the Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet AGL at Bucholz AAF, Kwajalein Island.

The FAA proposes to remove the Class E4 airspace as aircraft using the published approaches do not descend below 1,000 feet more than 2 miles outside the Bucholtz AAF Class D surface area. Thus, the airspace does not meet the requirements for a Class E airspace area designated as an extension to a Class D.

In addition, the FAA proposes to amend the Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface of the earth by removing that airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet AGL within a 100-mile radius of the airport and add language to exclude anything beyond the U.S. Territorial Zone. Oakland Oceanic ARTCC does not require the additional airspace to provide enroute air traffic services.

Class E Airspace Areas Designated as an extension to a Class D or Class E Surface Area, and Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward from 700 feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth are published in section 6004, and 6005 of FAA Order 7400.11E dated July 21, 2020, and effective September 15, 2020, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR part 71.1. The Airspace 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.

ICAO Considerations

As part of this proposal relates to navigable airspace outside the United States, this notice is submitted in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) International Standards and Recommended Practices. The application of International Standards and Recommended Practices by the FAA, Office of Policy, Rules and Regulations Group, in areas outside the United States domestic airspace, is governed by the Convention on International Civil Aviation. Specifically, the FAA is governed by Article 12 and Annex 11, which pertain to the establishment of necessary air navigational facilities and services to promote the safe, orderly, and expeditious flow of civil air traffic. The purpose of Article 12 and Annex 11 is to ensure that civil aircraft operations on international air routes are performed under uniform conditions.

The International Standards and Recommended Practices in Annex 11 apply to airspace under the jurisdiction of a contracting state, derived from ICAO. Annex 11 provisions apply when air traffic services are provided and a contracting state accepts the responsibility of providing air traffic services over high seas or in airspace of undetermined sovereignty. A contracting state accepting this responsibility may apply the International Standards and Recommended Practices that are consistent with standards and practices utilized in its domestic jurisdiction.

In accordance with Article 3 of the convention, state-owned aircraft are exempt from the Standards and Recommended Practices of Annex 11. The United States is a contracting state to the Convention. Article 3(d) of the Convention provides that participating state aircraft will be operated in international airspace with due regard for the safety of civil aircraft.

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:

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 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 7400.11E, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated July 21, 2020 and effective September 15, 2020, is amended as follows:

End Amendment Part

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

* * * * *

AWP RM E4 Kwajalein Island, Marshall Islands, RMI [Removed]

Bucholz AAF (Kwajalein KMR) (ATOLL), Kwajalein Island

(Lat. 08°43′12″ N, long. 167°43′54″ E)

* * * * *

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

* * * * *

AWP RM E5 Kwajalein Island, Marshall Islands, RMI [Amended]

Bucholz AAF (Kwajalein KMR) (ATOLL), Kwajalein Island

(Lat. 08°43′12″ N, long. 167°43′54″ E)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface of the earth within a 12-mile radius of Bucholz AAF (Kwajalein KMR) (ATOLL), excluding that airspace that extends beyond 12 miles from and parallel to the Kwajalein outer shoreline.

* * * * *
Start Signature

Issued in Washington, DC, on October 13, 2020.

Scott M. Rosenbloom,

Acting Manager, Rules and Regulations Group.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2020-22955 Filed 10-21-20; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P