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Proposed Rule

Proposed Amendment of V-37 and V-270; Removal of V-43 in the Vicinity of Erie, PA

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

This action proposes to amend two VHF Omnidirectional Range (VOR) Federal airways and remove one VOR Federal airway in the vicinity of Erie, Pennsylvania. The FAA proposes this action due to the planned decommissioning of the VOR portion of the Erie, PA, VOR/Tactical Air Navigation (VORTAC) that these airways utilize for navigation guidance. The Erie VOR is being decommissioned as part of the FAA's VOR Minimum Operational Network (MON) program.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before June 24, 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-2021-0324; Airspace Docket No. 21-AGL-9 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 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-2021-0324; Airspace Docket No. 21-AGL-9) 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-2021-0324; Airspace Docket No. 21-AGL-9.” 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

The FAA is planning to decommission the VOR portion of the Erie, PA, VORTAC. This VOR was one of the candidate VORs identified for discontinuance by the FAA's VOR MON program and listed in the final policy statement notice, “Provision of Navigation Services for the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) Transition to Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) (Plan for Establishing a VOR Minimum Operational Network),” published in the Start Printed Page 24795 Federal Register of July 26, 2016 (81 FR 48694), Docket No. FAA-2011-1082.

Although the VOR portion of the Eric VORTAC is planned for decommissioning, the co-located DME portion of the navigational aid is being retained in support of current and future Area Navigation (RNAV) procedures. The tactical air navigation (TACAN) system is also being retained to support the Department of Defense mission requirements.

The VOR Federal airways affected by the Erie VOR are V-37, V-270, and V-43. With the planned decommissioning of the VOR portion of the Erie VORTAC, the remaining navigational aids in the area are insufficient to enable the continuity of the affected airways. As such, the proposal would result in the shortening of V-37 and V-270, and would result in the revocation of V-43. To overcome the shortening and removal of the proposed airways, pilots using RNAV could navigate point to point utilizing the fixes that would be retained or request air traffic control radar vectors through the area. Additionally, visual flight rules (VFR) pilots who elect to navigate via the affected airways could also take advantage of the air traffic control (ATC) services previously listed.

The Proposal

The FAA is proposing an amendment to 14 CFR part 71 to amend V-37 and V-270, and revoke V-43, in the vicinity of Erie, PA. This is required due to the planned decommissioning of the VOR portion of the Erie, PA, VORTAC. The proposed airway changes are described below.

V-37: V-37 currently extends between the Craig, FL, VORTAC and the Erie, PA VORTAC. The FAA proposes to remove the airway segment between the Ellwood City, PA, VOR/DME and the Erie VORTAC. As a result, the amended airway would extend between the Craig VORTAC and the Ellwood City VOR/DME.

V-270: V-270 currently extends between the Erie, PA, VORTAC and the Jamestown, NY, VOR/DME; and between the Elmira, NY, VOR/DME and the Boston, MA, VOR/DME. The FAA proposes to remove the airway segment between the Erie VORTAC and the Jamestown VOR/DME. As a result, the amended airway would extend between the Elmira VOR/DME and the Boston VOR/DME.

V-43: V-43 currently extends between the Youngstown, OH, VORTAC and the Erie, PA, VORTAC. The FAA proposes to remove V-43 in its entirety.

All radials in the VOR Federal airway descriptions below are unchanged and stated in True degrees.

Domestic VOR Federal airways are published in paragraph 6010(a) 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 VOR Federal airways 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 6010(a) Domestic VOR Federal Airways.

* * * * *

V-37 [Amended]

From Craig, FL; Brunswick, GA; INT Brunswick 014° and Savannah, GA, 177° radials; Savannah; Allendale, SC; Columbia, SC; Charlotte, NC; Pulaski, VA; Elkins, WV; Clarksburg, WV; INT Clarksburg 359° and Ellwood City, PA, 185° radials; to Ellwood City.

* * * * *

V-43 [Removed]

* * * * *

V-270 [Amended]

From Elmira, NY; Binghamton, NY; DeLancey, NY; Chester, MA; INT Chester 091° and Boston, MA, 262° radials; to Boston.

* * * * *
Start Signature

Issued in Washington, DC, on April 30, 2021.

George Gonzalez,

Acting Manager, Rules and Regulations Group.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2021-09668 Filed 5-7-21; 8:45 am]

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