NOAAAfter a somewhat lengthy delay, we have finally heard back from NOAA – Office of Marine Sanctuary.

As you may know, the California Pilots Association has written to NOAA – Office of Marine Sanctuary – regarding last year’s west coast airspace change, which the we believe was implemented without justification.

One of our requests was simple –”Supply us with the documented verification that there were in fact numerous violations which justified the marine sanctuary airspace change from voluntary to a forced disciplinary violation.”

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This is an example of the FAA being asleep at the wheel during this airspace grab which should never been allowed to happen. We have written a letter to the FAA Administrator (currently acting) with no response to date, as well as NOAA Headquarters. 

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Pilots could face stiff fines—up to six figures—for violating new overflight regulations that place the National Airspace System on a slippery slope. The FAA has ceded to another federal agency—the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—authority to enforce what amount to new airspace restrictions.

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The NOAA’s latest proposal to limit overflight of Marine Sanctuary assumes the pilot is guilty just by being there.

SUMMARY: NOAA proposes to amend the regulations of the Channel Islands, Monterey Bay, Gulf of the Farallones, and Olympic Coast national marine sanctuaries relating to sanctuary overflights. Specifically, NOAA proposes to: amend the regulations requiring that motorized aircraft maintain certain minimum altitudes above specified locations within the boundaries of the listed sanctuaries; and state that failure to comply with these altitude limits is presumed to disturb marine mammals or seabirds and is a violation of the sanctuary regulations.

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