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EAA Submits Comment on Detroit Airspace Proposal


October 18, 2012 - EAA expressed its strong concerns with several elements of an FAA proposal to greatly expand the Class B airspace overlying Detroit, Michigan.

In a letter to the agency, EAA wrote that raising the ceiling height from the present 8,000 feet to 10,000 feet MSL would "effectively eliminate the option to overfly the airspace for a large percentage of GA pilots transiting the Detroit/Windsor area" due to many factors, particularly the impact of the relatively high altitude on pilot and aircraft performance.

The comments also note that pilots needing to deviate around the airspace due to the altitude change would be further impeded by the expansion of the airspace's footprint, which would increase from 40 nautical miles at its widest point to 60. In addition, a low "shelf" in the airspace directly overlying Coleman A. Young Municipal Airport could lead to inadvertent airspace violations.

"Class B airspace is restrictive, and not always accessible to VFR traffic," said Tom Charpentier, EAA government advocacy specialist. "The FAA needs to ensure that it considers the impact of any such airspace expansion on all users." He noted that the agency was receptive to previous community input about restrictions over the western part of the Detroit area and hoped that it would be similarly considerate of the remaining concerns.


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