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Proposed Rule

Proposed Amendment of V-6, V-10, V-30, V-100, and V-233 in the Vicinity of Litchfield, MI

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

This action proposes to amend VHF Omnidirectional Range (VOR) Federal airways V-6, V-10, V-30, V-100, and V-233 in the vicinity of Litchfield, MI. The air traffic service (ATS) route modifications are necessary due to the planned decommissioning of the VOR portion of the Litchfield, MI, VOR/Distance Measuring Equipment (VOR/DME) navigational aid (NAVAID). The Litchfield VOR/DME NAVAID provides navigational guidance for portions of the affected VOR Federal airways listed above and is planned to be decommissioned as part of the FAA's VOR Minimum Operational Network (MON) program.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before September 13, 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-2021-0596; Airspace Docket No. 20-AGL-15 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 Start Printed Page 40970

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Colby Abbott, 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 (NAS).

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-2021-0596; Airspace Docket No. 20-AGL-15) 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-2021-0596; Airspace Docket No. 20-AGL-15.” 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 decommissioning activities for the VOR portion of the Litchfield, MI, VOR/DME in May 2022. The Litchfield, MI, VOR is a candidate VOR 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 Federal Register of July 26, 2016 (81 FR 48694), Docket No. FAA-2011-1082.

Although the VOR portion of the Litchfield VOR/DME is planned for decommissioning, the co-located DME portion of the NAVAID is being retained.

The existing ATS route dependencies to the Litchfield, MI, VOR/DME NAVAID are VOR Federal airways V-6, V-10, V-30, V-100, and V-233. With the planned decommissioning of the VOR portion of the Litchfield VOR/DME, the remaining ground-based NAVAID coverage in the area is insufficient to enable the continuity of the affected airways. As such, proposed modifications to the affected VOR Federal airways would result in expanding the existing gaps in four of the airways (V-6, V-10, V-30, and V-233) and redefining an airway end point in the remaining airway (V-100).

To overcome the expanded gaps in four of the airways and the loss of the airway segment on the end of the fifth airway, instrument flight rules (IFR) traffic may request air traffic control (ATC) radar vectors to fly through or circumnavigate the affected area. Additionally, IFR pilots equipped with RNAV capabilities may also navigate point to point using the existing fixes that will remain in place as fixes or waypoints to support continued operations though the affected area. Visual flight rules (VFR) pilots who elect to navigate via the airways through the affected area could also take advantage of the ATC services listed previously.

Prior to this NPRM, the FAA published a rule for Docket No. FAA-2020-0709 in the Federal Register (85 FR 79117; December 9, 2020), amending VOR Federal airways V-6 and V-30 by removing the airway segments between the Clarion, PA, VOR/DME and the Philipsburg, PA, VOR/Tactical Air Navigation (VORTAC) for each airway. Those airway amendments, effective February 25, 2021, are included in this NPRM.

Also prior to this NPRM, the FAA published a rule for Docket No. FAA-2020-0667 in the Federal Register (85 FR 79422; December 10, 2020), amending VOR Federal airway V-100 by removing the airway segment between the O'Neill, NE, VORTAC and the Fort Dodge, IA, VORTAC. That airway amendment, effective February 25, 2021, is also included in this NPRM.

The Proposal

The FAA is proposing an amendment to 14 CFR part 71 by modifying VOR Federal airways V-6, V-10, V-30, V-100, and V-233. The planned decommissioning of the VOR portion of the Litchfield, MI, VOR/DME has made this action necessary.

The proposed VOR Federal airway changes are outlined below.Start Printed Page 40971

V-6: V-6 currently extends between the Oakland, CA, VOR/DME and the DuPage, IL, VOR/DME; between the intersection of the Chicago Heights, IL, VORTAC 358° and Gipper, MI, VORTAC 271° radials (NILES fix) and the intersection of the Gipper, MI, VORTAC 092° and Litchfield, MI, VOR/DME 196° radials (MODEM fix); and between the Philipsburg, PA, VORTAC and the La Guardia, NY, VOR/DME. The FAA proposes to remove the airway segment between the Gipper, MI, VORTAC and the intersection of the Gipper, MI, VORTAC 092° and Litchfield, MI, VOR/DME 196° radials (MODEM fix). The unaffected portions of the existing airway would remain as charted.

V-10: V-10 currently extends between the Pueblo, CO, VORTAC and the intersection of the Bradford, IL, VORTAC 058° and Joliet, IL, VOR/DME 287° radials (PLANO fix); between the intersection of the Chicago Heights, IL, VORTAC 358° and Gipper, MI, VORTAC 271° radials (NILES fix) and the Litchfield, MI, VOR/DME; and between the Youngstown, OH, VORTAC and the Lancaster, PA, VOR/DME. The FAA proposes to remove the airway segment between the intersection of the Chicago Heights, IL, VORTAC 358° and Gipper, MI, VORTAC 271° radials (NILES fix) and the Litchfield, MI, VOR/DME. The unaffected portions of the existing airway would remain as charted.

V-30: V-30 currently extends between the Badger, WI, VOR/DME and the Litchfield, MI, VOR/DME; and between the Philipsburg, PA, VORTAC and the Solberg, NJ, VOR/DME. The FAA proposes to remove the airway segment between the Pullman, MI, VOR/DME and the Litchfield, MI, VOR/DME. The unaffected portions of the existing airway would remain as charted.

V-100: V-100 currently extends between the Medicine Bow, WY, VOR/DME and the O'Neill, NE, VORTAC; and between the Fort Dodge, IA, VORTAC and the Litchfield, MI, VOR/DME. The FAA proposes to remove the airway segment between the Keeler, MI, VOR/DME and the Litchfield, MI, VOR/DME. Additional changes to other portions of the airway have been proposed in a separate NPRM. The unaffected portions of the existing airway would remain as charted.

V-233: V-233 currently extends between the Spinner, IL, VORTAC and the Litchfield, MI, VOR/DME; and between the Mount Pleasant, MI, VOR/DME and the Pellston, MI, VORTAC. The FAA proposes to remove the airway segment between the Goshen, IN, VORTAC and the Litchfield, MI, VOR/DME. The unaffected portions of the existing airway would remain as charted.

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

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 published subsequently 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-6 [Amended]

From Oakland, CA; INT Oakland 039° and Sacramento, CA, 212° radials; Sacramento; Squaw Valley, CA; Mustang, NV; Lovelock, NV; Battle Mountain, NV; INT Battle Mountain 062° and Wells, NV, 256° radials; Wells; 5 miles, 40 miles, 98 MSL, 85 MSL, Lucin, UT; 43 miles, 85 MSL, Ogden, UT; 11 miles, 50 miles, 105 MSL, Fort Bridger, WY; Rock Springs, WY; 20 miles, 39 miles, 95 MSL, Cherokee, WY; 39 miles, 27 miles, 95 MSL, Medicine Bow, WY; INT Medicine Bow 106° and Sidney, NE, 291° radials; Sidney; North Platte, NE; Grand Island, NE; Omaha, IA; Des Moines, IA; Iowa City, IA; Davenport, IA; INT Davenport 087° and DuPage, IL, 255° radials; to DuPage. From INT Chicago Heights, IL, 358° and Gipper, MI, 271° radials; to Gipper. From Philipsburg, PA; Selinsgrove, PA; Allentown, PA; Solberg, NJ; INT Solberg 107° and Yardley, PA, 068° radials; INT Yardley 068° and La Guardia, NY, 213° radials; to La Guardia.

* * * * *

V-10 [Amended]

From Pueblo, CO; 18 miles, 48 miles, 60 MSL, Lamar, CO; Garden City, KS; Dodge City, KS; Hutchinson, KS; Emporia, KS; INT Emporia 063° and Napoleon, MO, 243° radials; Napoleon; Kirksville, MO; Burlington, IA; Bradford, IL; to INT Bradford 058° and Joliet, IL, 287° radials. From Youngstown, OH; INT Youngstown 116° and Revloc, PA, 300° radials; Revloc; INT Revloc 107° and Lancaster, PA, 280° radials; to Lancaster.

* * * * *

V-30 [Amended]

From Badger, WI; INT Badger 102° and Pullman, MI, 303° radials; to Pullman. From Philipsburg, PA; Selinsgrove, PA; East Texas, PA; INT East Texas 095° and Solberg, NJ, 264° radials; to Solberg.

* * * * *

V-100 [Amended]

From Medicine Bow, WY; Scottsbluff, NE; Alliance, NE; Ainsworth, NE; to O'Neill, NE. From Fort Dodge, IA; Waterloo, IA; Dubuque, IA; Rockford, IL; INT Rockford 074° and Janesville, WI, 112° radials; INT Janesville 112° and Northbrook, IL, 291° radials; Northbrook; INT Northbrook 095° and Keeler, MI, 271° radials; to Keeler.

* * * * *
Start Printed Page 40972

V-233 [Amended]

From Spinner, IL; INT Spinner 061° and Roberts, IL, 233° radials; Roberts; Knox, IN; to Goshen, IN. From Mount Pleasant, MI; INT Mount Pleasant 351° and Gaylord, MI, 207° radials; Gaylord; to Pellston, MI.

* * * * *
Start Signature

Issued in Washington, DC, on July 26, 2021.

George Gonzalez,

Acting Manager, Rules and Regulations Group.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2021-16140 Filed 7-29-21; 8:45 am]

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