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Proposed Rule

Proposed Amendment of Area Navigation (RNAV) Route Q-34; Northeastern United States

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

This action proposes to amend Area Navigation (RNAV) route Q-34 in the northeastern United States in support of the Northeast Corridor Atlantic Coast Route Project (NEC ACR) for improve efficiency of the National Airspace System (NAS) while reducing the dependency on ground based navigational systems.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before March 1, 2021.

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-2020-1155; Airspace Docket No. 20-ASO-28 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:

Sean Hook, 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 Start Printed Page 3890expand the availability of RNAV routes in the NAS, increase airspace capacity, and reduce complexity in high air traffic volume areas.

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-2020-1155 and Airspace Docket No. 20-ASO-28) 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-2020-1155 and Airspace Docket No. 20-ASO-28.” 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. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

Availability of NPRM's

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 Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, Room 210, 1701 Columbia Ave., College Park, GA, 30337.

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 Northeast Corridor Atlantic Coast Route (NEC ACR) project developed Performance Based Navigation (PBN) routes involving the Washington, Boston, New York, and Jacksonville Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCC). The proposed route would enable aircraft to travel from most locations along the east coast of the United States mainland between Maine and Charleston, SC. The proposed NEC ACR route would also tie-in to the existing high altitude RNAV route structure enabling more efficient direct routings between the U.S. east coast and Caribbean area locations.

Additionally, the proposed Q-route would support the strategy to transition the NAS from a ground-based navigation aid, and radar-based system, to a satellite-based PBN system.

The Proposal

The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 to amend RNAV route Q-34, in the northeastern United States to support the Northeast Corridor Atlantic Coast Route Project.

Q-34: Q-34 currently extends between the Texarkana, AR (TXK), VORTAC to the SWAPP, TN, Fix. The FAA is proposing to extend Q-34 to the northeast from the SWAPP, TN, Fix to the Robbinsville, NJ (RBV), VORTAC. The portion from the Gordonsville, VA (GVE), VORTAC to the Robbinsville, NJ (RBV), VORTAC would replace the proposed route of Q-115 in Airspace Docket No. 18-AEA-16 (85 FR 16572; March 24, 2020). Note, 18-AEA-16 proposed multiple routes but never published a final rule ultimately implementing them. Since the Q-34 effectively can cover the same geographic area, the decision was made to extend Q-34, saving an additional Q-route identifier for future use since there is limited quantity. Additionally, the LOOSE, AR, WP is added after the Texarkana, AR (TXK), VORTAC and the MEMFS, TN, WP is added in lieu of the Memphis, TN, VORTAC. Finally, the following points are added to the route from the SWAPP, TN, Fix to the Robbinsville, NJ (RBV), VORTAC: GHATS, KY, Fix; FOUNT, KY, Fix; TONIO, KY, Fix; KONGO, KY, Fix; NEALS, WV, Fix; SITTR, WV, WP; ASBUR, WV, Fix; DENNY, VA, Fix; MAULS, VA, WP; Gordonsville, VA (GVE); BOOYA, VA, WP; DUALY, MD, WP; BIGRG, MD, WP; PNGWN, NJ, WP; HULKK, NJ, WP.

United States area navigation routes are published in paragraph 2006 of FAA Order 7400.11E, dated July 21, 2020, and effective September 15, 2020, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The area navigation routes listed in this document would be subsequently published 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 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 Start Printed Page 3891proposes 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 2006 United States Area Navigation Routes.

* * * * *
Q-34 Texarkana, AR (TXK) to Robbinsville, NJ (RBV) [Amend]
Texarkana, AR (TXK)VORTAC(Lat. 33°30′49.97″ N, long. 094°04′23.67″ W)
LOOSE, ARWP(Lat. 33°53′ 46.88″ N, long. 093°05′ 08.38″ W)
MATIE, ARFIX(Lat. 34°05′ 41.96″ N, long. 092°33′ 02.35″ W)
MEMFS, TNWP(Lat. 35°00′ 54.62″ N, long. 089°58′ 58.87″ W)
SWAPP, TNFIX(Lat. 36°36′ 49.78″ N, long. 085°10′ 56.04″ W)
GHATS, KYFIX(Lat. 36°48′ 06.75″ N, long. 084°34′ 02.44″ W)
FOUNT, KYFIX(Lat. 36°57′ 24.34″ N, long. 084°03′ 01.92″ W)
TONIO, KYFIX(Lat. 37°15′ 15.20″ N, long. 083°01′ 47.53″ W)
KONGO, KYFIX(Lat. 37°30′ 19.46″ N, long. 082°08′ 12.56″ W)
NEALS, WVFIX(Lat. 37°35′ 45.99″ N, long. 081°48′ 24.62″ W)
SITTR, WVWP(Lat. 37°46′ 49.13″ N, long. 081°07′ 23.70″ W)
ASBUR, WVFIX(Lat. 37°49′ 24.41″ N, long. 080°27′ 51.44″ W)
DENNY, VAFIX(Lat. 37°52′ 00.15″ N, long. 079°44′ 13.75″ W)
MAULS, VAWP(Lat. 37°52′ 49.36″ N, long. 079°19′ 49.19″ W)
Gordonsville, VA(GVE) VORTAC(Lat. 38°00′ 48.96″ N, long. 078°09′ 10.90″ W)
BOOYA, VAWP(Lat. 38°24′ 20.50″ N, long. 077°21′ 46.36″ W)
DUALY, MDWP(Lat. 38°45′ 53.59″ N, long. 076°50′ 33.76″ W)
BIGRG, MDWP(Lat. 39°15′ 13.92″ N, long. 076°07′ 13.77″ W)
PNGWN, NJWP(Lat. 39°39′ 27.07″ N, long. 075°30′ 41.79″ W)
HULKK, NJWP(Lat. 39°59′ 53.04″ N, long. 074°58′ 52.52″ W)
Robbinsville, NJ (RBV)VORTAC(Lat. 40°12′ 08.65″ N, long. 074°29′ 42.09″ W)
* * * * *
Start Signature

Issued in Washington, DC, on January 5, 2021.

George Gonzalez,

Acting Manager, Rules and Regulations Group.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2021-00146 Filed 1-14-21; 8:45 am]

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