CALPILOTS Responds to FAA's Long Beach Class C Proposal

Read the California Pilots Association response to the proposed Class C Airspace change for Long Beach Airport.

Francie Hope, Operations Support
Group, Western Service Area, Air
Traffic Organization, Federal Aviation
Administration, 1601 Lind Avenue,
SW., Renton, WA 98057

Clark Desing,
Operations Support Group, AJV–W2,
Western Service Area, Air Traffic
Organization, Federal Aviation
Administration, 1601 Lind Avenue,
SW., Renton, WA 98057
Issued in Washington, DC, on March 31, 2010.
Paul Gallant,
Acting Manager, Airspace and Rules Group.

I am writing you on behalf of the board and the statewide membership of the California Pilots Association.

The California Pilots Association is a non-profit public benefit California Corporation whose mission is to promote and preserve the state’s general aviation airports. A part of the health of our airports is the ability of the state’s pilots to efficiently use the airspace surrounding those airports.

In the Federal Register (Vol. 75, No. 64 / Monday, April 5, 2010 / Notices) you announced planned public meetings, currently scheduled for June 22 and 23, concerning the airspace around Long Beach Airport (LGB). We are in agreement on the requirement to hold the meetings. We have, however, two issues with the meeting planning that we believe are lacking.

Content Regarding The Airspace Discussion
In the Federal Register, you state that “The meetings will be informal in nature and will be conducted by one or more representatives of the FAA Western Service Area. A representative from the FAA will present a briefing on the planned Class C airspace areas”.

Since this proposal will create some of the most complex airspace in the world, we think a better stakeholder educational effort is required.

We believe that the majority of pilots and stakeholders at LGB, and the surrounding airports, have a limited understanding of what you are proposing. With few exceptions, the stakeholders do not understand the FAA’s guidance for creating Class C airspace.

Your notice provides for meeting attendees to make comments and to submit position papers. However, without prior time to study the FAA’s proposal of what the “planned Class C airspace” is, those who have an interest in this airspace will be left with making “off-the-cuff” commentary.

While this is a bit late date in the process, we believe that the FAA should make an effort to publicize their proposed procedure; thereby allowing the public to study the plan and provide the FAA with well thought out commentary.

Location And Time Of Day Of The Meetings
Holding the meetings at the Long Beach Airport (Holiday Inn Hotel) with a planned start time of 6 PM disenfranchises those not located in close proximity to the airport. As you know, the Long Beach area is a part of the Los Angeles metropolis and roadway traffic – rush hour traffic is abysmal. We are concerned that many who want to attend the meetings will forgo doing so because of traffic and their inability to make the 6:00 PM meeting time. Especially when considering that many people leave work at 5:00 PM or later.

We were advised that the FAA has declined considering additional sites and meetings, which we believe is a mistake. Your notice states that “The purpose of these meetings is to provide interested parties an opportunity to present views, recommendations, and comments on the proposal.”

As currently planned, we believe that you will not reach “all interested parties” concerned with this important matter. We expect that the stakeholders of the TOA, HHR, and CPM airports are likely to be among those that would forgo the meetings rather than confront rush hour traffic in the direction of Long Beach.

If the FAA is unable to adequately plan for local meetings to accommodate the all interested parties, we would like to suggest another option. We suggest that the FAA also use a WEBINAR to achieve greater user participation. Use of technology will permit stakeholders to use computer and teleconferencing technology allowing more to be a part of a discussion and attend.

We realize that the time is getting short, and express regret for not submitting this communication earlier. However, we feel that all airport stakeholders should be heard from, especially considering the plans for a huge potential change to their airspace.

In closing, we politely suggest that if the FAA wants to achieve attendance and input from all interested stakeholders of the airspace, it has to insure that stakeholders can attend at their convenience, rather than that of the FAA.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Respectfully Submitted,

Ed Rosiak – President
California Pilots Association

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