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News and Updates – FAA Issues Denver Environmental Assessment

WASHINGTON The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Final Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Denver Metroplex project.

Before the FAA makes a final decision on the project, the agency will hold a 32-day public comment period. This will allow people to comment on the changes made in the Final EA compared to the Draft EA, and on any of the preliminary determinations under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

The project would use cutting-edge satellite navigation to move air traffic more safely and efficiently through the area. Satellite-based routes would allow for more direct and efficient routing of aircraft into and out of Denver and surrounding airports, enhancing aviation safety and efficiency, and potentially reducing flight delays.

The project also would expand the number of entry and exit points into and out of the Denver airspace, by segregating Denver arrival traffic from satellite airport traffic and creating additional departure routes, similar to creating more on- and off-ramps in the sky. The project includes two major airports, Denver International Airport and Centennial Airport, and three satellite airports Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport, Northern Colorado Regional Airport and Greeley-Weld County Airport.

Prior to issuing the Final EA, the FAA held a total of 24 public workshops in 2017 and in the spring of 2019, conducted approximately 78 briefings for community groups, airport officials, and local, state and federal officials. The agency also evaluated and responded to 518 public comments.

The public is invited to submit comments by mail, or via the web comment form available online throughout the comment period.

Electronic copies of the Final EA and supporting materials, including all Section 106 materials, are available at the following locations:

  • Online at the Project website.
  • Electronic versions of the Final EA have been sent to 78 libraries in the General Study Area with a request to make the digital document available to patrons. A complete list of libraries with electronic copies of the Final EA is available online at the Project website.

News and Updates – FAA Seeks Comments on Draft Environmental Assessment for Las Vegas Metroplex Project

WASHINGTON-The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is seeking public comment on the Draft Environmental Assessment (Draft EA) for the Las Vegas Metroplex Project, which proposes to use cutting-edge satellite navigation to move air traffic more efficiently through Southern Nevada.

While the airspace around Las Vegas is already safe, its not as efficient as it could be. The FAA proposes to address the inefficiencies by implementing new routes that are more direct, automatically separated from each other, and have efficient climb and descent profiles. The potential benefits of these routes can include reductions in pilot-controller communications, miles flown, fuel burn and CO2 emissions.

The project includes new and replacement arrival and departure routes for McCarran International Airport, Henderson Executive Airport and North Las Vegas Airport.

The FAA released the projects Draft EA on Nov.18 for public review. There will be a 32-day public comment period on the document from Nov.18 through Dec. 20, 2019.

The document is posted on the Las Vegas Metroplex website. The Draft EA indicates the project would not have any significant environmental impacts under federal environmental law.

Also available on the website are Google Earth images that allow people to compare current and proposed routes, and see the noise analysis the FAA conducted at more than 172,000 grid points throughout the project General Study Area.

The FAA will host five public workshops for the Draft EA between Monday, Dec. 9 and Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. The workshops will feature informational videos and display boards that show existing and proposed routes and explain the inefficiencies in the current system. FAA representatives will be available to answer questions and demonstrate the Google Earth features.

The workshops will be open-house format, where people can attend any time during the posted times to learn about the project. Free parking will be available at all locations.

The workshop dates and locations are as follows:

Dec. 9, 2019
5:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m.
Clark County Government Center Pueblo Room
500 S. Grand Central Pkwy., Las Vegas, NV 89155

Dec. 10, 2019
5:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m.
North Las Vegas Airport Grand Canyon Conference Room
2730 Airport Drive, North Las Vegas, NV 89032

Dec. 11, 2019
5:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m.
Desert Breeze Community Center Meeting Room
8275 Spring Mountain Road, Las Vegas, NV 89147

Dec. 12, 2019
4:45 p.m. 7:15 p.m.
Windmill Library Meeting Room
7060 Windmill Lane, Las Vegas, NV 89113

Dec. 13, 2019
5:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m.
Henderson Executive Airport North/South Meeting Room
3500 Executive Terminal Drive, Henderson, NV 89052

People can submit comments on the project online at 9-las-metroplex-ea@faa.gov, in person at the public workshops, and by writing to:

Las Vegas Metroplex Draft EA Federal Aviation Administration
Western Service CenterOperations Support Group
2200 S. 216th Street
Des Moines, WA 98198-6547

After evaluating and responding to all substantive public comments, the FAA could adopt the entire proposal, adopt portions of it, or modify it.

Additional information about the project, including previous public outreach activities, is available on the FAAs Las Vegas Community Involvement website.

News and Updates – FAA and NASA Drone Industry Workshop

WASHINGTONThe Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and NASA will hold the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) Pilot Program (UPP) Phase 2 Industry Workshop in December. Building on UPP Phase 1, UPP Phase 2 will showcase additional technologies, including Remote Identification (ID) and operations with increasing volumes and density. The UPPs success is dependent upon the ability to work with industry, various FAA Test Sites and IPP participants.

What: FAA/NASA UTM Pilot Program Phase 2 December Industry Workshop

When: Monday, December 9, 2019, 1:00 p.m.5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time

Where: NASA Ames Conference Center, Mountain View, CA

During this half-day workshop, the FAA and NASA will provide participants with an in-depth view of UPP Phase 2, including a walk-through of the Concept of Use, Architecture, Technical and Functional Requirements, and a detailed timeline. UPP Phase 2 partners should be able to support the following capabilities:

  • UAS operations in high density airspace;
  • Remote ID services;
  • USS transmission of flight information to air traffic control due to an off-nominal UTM event;
  • Public safety operations; and,
  • UAS Volume Reservations (UVR) service.

Those interested in more details surrounding the agencies plan for partnering with industry for UPP can go to the registration website.

Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis and limited to the first 150 registrants. Only two participants from the same organization may register. The registration deadlines are:

  • Tuesday, November 12 for non-U.S. citizens without permanent residency. NASA requires special paperwork to admit all non-U.S. citizens without permanent residency to attend the workshop at Ames Research Center.
  • Monday, November 25 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents; Please go to the registration website for more information.

For any questions on the workshop, email: FAAUTM@FAA.gov.

News and Updates – Notice to Airmen Data Optimization Summit on November 18

WASHINGTON On November 18, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will hold a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) Data Optimization Summit to modernize aeronautical information and NOTAM data. The FAA and the aviation community will discuss ways to improve the collection and dissemination of vital aeronautical information provided primarily to airspace users, with a focus on general aviation pilots and the growing drone community.

The FAA will livestream the event on FAA social media channels throughout the day and welcomes public feedback.

News and Updates – New Protocols for Diabetics Seeking Air Transport and Commercial Pilots Medical Certification

Today, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published in the Federal Register a notice on a Diabetes Protocol for Applicants Seeking to Exercise Air Transport, Commercial, or Private Pilot Privileges. The innovative new protocol makes it possible for airline transport or commercial pilots with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) to potentially receive a special-issuance medical certification.

Medical science has come a long way in the treatment and monitoring of diabetes. This new medical protocol takes into account medical advancements in technology and treatment and opens the door for individuals with ITDM to become airline pilots.

Since 1996, private pilots with ITDM have been issued medical certificates on a case-by-case basis after assessing their risks. This new protocol is based on established advancements in medical science that make management and control of the disease easier to monitor thereby mitigating safety risks.

To be considered under this protocol, applicants will provide comprehensive medical and overall health history, including reports from their treating physicians, such as their endocrinologist. They will also provide evidence of controlling their diabetes using the latest technology and methods of treatment being used to monitor the disease.

The FAA developed the new protocol based on the reliability of the advancements in technology and treatment being made in the medical standard of care for diabetes and on input from the expert medical community.

Public comment on the new protocols closes 60 days from the date of publication. The new protocols are effective November 7, 2019. However, the FAA may revise the new protocol based on comments.

Contact: Marcia Alexander-Adams
Email: marcia.adams@faa.gov