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Proposed Rule

Proposed Establishment of Area Navigation (RNAV) Routes T-322, T-392, T-403, and T-405; Central 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 establish area navigation (RNAV) routes T-322, T-392, T-403, and T-405 in the central United States. The proposed new RNAV routes would expand the availability of RNAV routing in support of transitioning the National Airspace System (NAS) from ground-based to satellite-based navigation. Additionally, a portion of the new RNAV routes would provide enroute structure where VHF Omnidirectional Range (VOR) Federal airway segments were removed due to the Sioux City, IA; Park Rapids, MN; and Huron, SD, VORs decommissioning in support of the Start Printed Page 12130FAA's VOR Minimum Operational Network (MON) program.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before April 16, 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: (800) 647-5527, or (202) 366-9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2021-0054; Airspace Docket No. 20-AGL-34 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:

Jesse Acevedo, 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 expand the availability of RNAV in the central United States and improve the efficient flow of air traffic within the NAS by lessening the dependency on ground-based navigation.

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-2021-0054; Airspace Docket No. 20-AGL-34) 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-2021-0054; Airspace Docket No. 20-AGL-34.” 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 Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

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

In 2003, Congress enacted the Vision 100—Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act (Pub. L. 108-176), which established a joint planning and development office in the FAA to manage the work related to the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). Today, NextGen is an ongoing FAA-led modernization of the nation's air transportation system to make flying safer, more efficient, and more predictable.

In support of NextGen efforts to improve the safety and efficiency of the NAS, as well as transition the NAS from a ground-based to a satellite-based Performance Based Navigation (PBN) system, the FAA is proposing to establish RNAV routes T-322, T-392, T-403, and T-405 to provide additional PBN enroute structure. This action would reduce air traffic control (ATC) sector workload and complexity, reduce pilot-to-controller communication, assist ATC when non-radar procedures are required, and increase NAS capacity in the areas of the new RNAV T-routes.

Additionally, the proposed T-routes would compensate for the previously removed airway segments of VOR Federal airways due to the Sioux City, IA; Park Rapids, MN; and Huron, SD, VORs being decommissioned effective February 25, 2021. The new T-routes would also provide Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) pilots that are equipped for RNAV PBN additional ATS route options for navigating around areas of heavy aviation activity and in areas of limited or no radar coverage. Visual Flight Rules (VFR) pilots, equipped with RNAV PBN, who elect to navigate via ATS routes, could also take advantage of the proposed RNAV T-routes.

The new routes will also assist in reducing workload and sector complexity for air traffic controllers, facilitate reduction of air to ground communications, and assist in Start Printed Page 12131increasing the efficiency and capacity of the NAS.

The Proposal

The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 to establish RNAV routes T-322, T-392, T-403, and T-405. The proposed new T-routes are described below.

T-322: T-322 is a new RNAV route that extends between the Rapid City, SD, VOR/Tactical Air Navigation (VORTAC) and the Redwood Falls, MN, VOR/Distance Measuring Equipment (VOR/DME). This T-route provides enroute routing over VOR Federal airway V-26.

T-392: T-392 is a new RNAV route that would extend between the MZEEE, IA, waypoint (WP) located near the Sioux City, IA, VORTAC and the GRSIS, MN, WP located near the Fairmont, MN, DME.

T-403: T-403 is a new RNAV route that would extend between the GENEO, MN, WP located near the Darwin, MN, VORTAC and the BLUOX, MN, fix located 40 NM North of the Park Rapids, MN, DME. This T-route would provide enroute routing adjacent to VOR Federal airway V-171 between the Darwin, MN, VORTAC and the Alexandria, MN, VOR/DME; and overlapping VOR Federal airway V-175 between the Alexandria, MN, VOR/DME and the BLUOX, MN, fix.

T-405: T-405 is a new RNAV route that would extend between the FIITS, SD, WP located near the Yankton, SD, VOR/DME and the GICHI, ND, WP located near the Devils Lake, ND, VOR/DME. This T-route would provide enroute routing adjacent to VOR Federal airway V-159 between the Yankton, SD, VOR/DME and the Huron, SD, DME; enroute routing adjacent to VOR Federal airway V-15 between the Huron, SD, DME and the Aberdeen, SD, VOR/DME; and enroute routing adjacent to VOR Federal airway V-170 between the Aberdeen, SD, VOR/DME and the Devils Lake, ND, VOR/DME.

United States RNAV T-routes are published in paragraph 6011 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 RNAV 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 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 6011 United States Area Navigation Routes.

* * * * *
T-322 Rapid City, SD (RAP) to Redwood Falls, MN (RWD)
Rapid City, SD (RAP)VORTAC(Lat. 43°58′33.74″ N, long. 103°00′44.38″ W)
Philip, SD (PHP)VOR/DME(Lat. 44°03′29.66″ N, long. 101°39′51.10″ W)
Pierre, SD (PIR)VORTAC(Lat. 44°23′40.40″ N, long. 100°09′46.11″ W)
DAKPE, SDWP(Lat. 44°25′58.37″ N, long. 098°42′23.05″ W)
Redwood Falls, MN (RWD)VOR/DME(Lat. 44°28′02.19″ N, long. 095°07′41.63″ W)
*    *    *    *    *    *    *    
T392 MZEEE, IA to GRSIS, MN
MZEEE, IAWP(Lat. 42°20′40.66″ N, long. 096°19′24.54″ W)
KAATO, IAWP(Lat. 42°35′06.89″ N, long. 095°58′53.08″ W)
BERRG, IAWP(Lat. 43°08′17.21″ N, long. 095°10′46.46″ W)
GRSIS, MNWP(Lat. 43°38′45.54″ N, long. 094°25′21.17″ W)
T-403 GENEO, MN to BLUOX, MN
GENEO, MNWP(Lat. 45°05′15.37″ N, long. 094°27′14.30″ W)
Alexandria, MN (AXN)VOR/DME(Lat. 45°57′30.20″ N, long. 095°13′57.48″ W)
Park Rapids, MN (PKD)DME(Lat. 46°53′53.34″ N, long. 095°04′15.21″ W)
BLUOX, MNWP(Lat. 47°34′33.13″ N, long. 095°01′29.11″ W)
T-405 FIITS, SD TO GICHI, ND
FIITS, SDWP(Lat. 42°55′06.67″ N, long. 097°23′06.31″ W)
Mitchell, SD (MHE)VOR/DME(Lat. 43°46′37.28″ N, long. 098°02′15.28″ W)
DIDDL, SDWP(Lat. 44°26′24.32″ N, long. 098°18′39.06″ W)
Aberdeen, SD (ABR)VOR/DME(Lat. 45°25′02.48″ N, long. 098°22′07.39″ W)
Jamestown, ND (JMS)VOR/DME(Lat. 46°55′58.34″ N, long. 098°40′43.57″ W)
FARRM, NDFIX(Lat. 47°29′14.17″ N, long. 099°01′34.50″ W)
GICHI, NDWP(Lat. 48°06′54.20″ N, long. 098°54′45.14″ W)
Start Signature
Start Printed Page 12132

Issued in Washington, DC, on February 22, 2021.

George Gonzalez,

Acting Manager, Rules and Regulations Group.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2021-03931 Filed 3-1-21; 8:45 am]

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