Your California Pilots Association will be in the front row to represent the interest of General Aviation on February 1, 2017 when the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council hears recommendations addressing aircraft flight at low altitudes over and through areas considered to be sensitive to outside disturbances. The February 1 meeting follows more than a year of study and research by the Council's "Overflight Working Group" composed of marine life specialists and aviation stakeholders.
Of particular interest to pilots will be the discussion on the implementation and possible expansion of regions in which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration currently invokes the rules of 15 CFR 922 (National Marine Sanctuary Program Regulations). These rules define the airspace in which NOAA claims the authority to identify, cite, and penalize aircraft operators who violate the boundaries they believe will result in the disturbance of wildlife, particulary sea birds and marine mammals.
CalPilots was specifically invited to participate on the Overflight Working Group. During the past year, research by Andy Wilson and two other involved aviators yielded a position in which it finds NOAA's regulatory position in conflict with the procedures, policies, and rules published by the FAA. Please review the documents found at the links below for details of the topic.
Links to Relevant Documents:
Overflight Working Group Recommendations (1.9 mb pdf file)
Comments From Pilot Working Group Members (307 kb pdf file)
Additional Public Comments (11 mb pdf file)