The proposed Phoenix Class B redesign would
make navigating the airspace similar to a lab rat finding its way through a
complex maze. But AOPA members have worked with association staff to offer
better suggestions that will meet the needs of all airspace users.
users' proposal would simplify some of the airspace and align some
boundaries with geographic features familiar to local pilots.
It would also provide better access for VFR
pilots flying along the valley east of Sky Harbor Airport. The AOPA-user
proposal would allow pilots to maintain the recommended altitude above the
Superstition Mountains Wilderness Area and keep aircraft higher above
noise-sensitive residential areas.
FAA has repeatedly ignored AOPA's recommendations, so we have sent them an
alternative airspace design that works for all airspace users — and it's
simple," said Heidi Williams, AOPA director of air traffic services.
"The FAA's proposal would decrease
safety and force pilots flying under the airspace to change altitudes
constantly. But we did agree with the FAA's recommended ceiling — 9,000 feet
msl — because that makes it easier for GA to overfly the airspace."
As AOPA pointed out, the FAA purposely
requires that Class B airspace be as simple as possible to meet the needs of GA
and other users in the area. Phoenix should be no different.
The association has participated in 14 months of meetings about the redesign and continues to supply the FAA with recommendations that will balance the needs of GA and the airlines without effectively shutting GA out of the airspace.
July 20, 2006