UPDATE: FAA Sets Up More Public Meetings on SoCal Airspace Modernization

The FAA will be holding a series of webinars and workshops to address upcoming their ongoing Southern California airspace modernization project.

After a round of successful public briefings in late October/early November last year discussing the first phase of the FAA’s Southern California airspace modernization efforts (called the Southern California Metroplex project), the agency is scheduling another round of webinars and public workshops to discuss the next phase of SoCal airspace improvements set for the coming months. The FAA is undertaking the Metroplex project, “which will replace dozens of existing conventional air routes with new satellite-based routes,” in order to improve the safety and efficiency in SoCal’s airspace.

January 2017 SoCal Metroplex Webinars

For access links and the necessary dial-in information for all the webinars, click here.

January/February 2017 SoCal Metroplex Workshops

The agency says the workshops will be an open house format, where people will be able to attend at any point during the posted times to learn about the upcoming changes. There will also be FAA representatives available to answer questions and provide information. For those attending, there will be free parking, as well as street parking, available at all the locations, and Spanish interpreters will also be available.

The agency says that the webinars and workshops will only be addressing improvements that are set to be implemented between March and April 2017, and they won’t be addressing any of the changes they implemented back in November 2016. For anyone interested, the FAA’s fall 2016 SoCal Metroplex webinars and PowerPoint presentations can be viewed on this page.

UPDATE 10-24-16: FAA Holding Briefings on Southern California Airspace Modernization

The FAA has announced that they will be holding a series of “public information briefings,” starting tomorrow and running through Wednesday, November 2nd, on their upcoming airspace modernization changes taking place in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange County. The changes are part of the FAA’s Southern California Metroplex project, which will be replacing “dozens of existing conventional air routes with new satellite-based routes.

What are the Dates and Locations the Briefings Will Be Taking Place?

According to the FAA, the briefings will Southern California airspace modernization project will be implemented in phases between November 2016 and April 2017, and these five public briefings will focus only on the changes that will be occurring in November 2016. According to the agency, they will be conducting “additional community outreach in early 2017 for the subsequent implementation phases of the project.

The briefings will be held in an open-house format, and people can take part any time during the three-hour briefing window to learn about the changes. FAA reps will be on hand to provide information regarding the project and answer questions.

For those interested in attending, the FAA says that “free parking, as well as street parking” will be available at all locations. In addition, they say that Spanish interpreters also will be present at the briefings. For those interested in attending, more information can be found on the FAA’s website, and on the Metroplex website, including detailed parking maps for some of the briefings.

Original Posting: 9-2-16 FAA Working on Southern California Airspace Modernization

The FAA has released a Finding of No Significant Impact / Record of Decision regarding their Southern California Metroplex project. This means that the agency will be able to start their efforts towards Southern California airspace modernization, including replacing many of the existing conventional air traffic control procedures with new satellite-based procedures.

Before issuing the finding, the FAA made extensive environmental reviews and held an estimated 90 public meetings. In addition, they evaluated and responded to thousands of public comments, using the input to inform a number of their changes. The FAA hopes to begin immediate work to phase in use of the new procedures, starting in November 2016 and running through April 2017. In addition, before publishing the procedures, the say they’ll be conducting more public outreach so they can further inform people regarding the changes.

More Details on the FAA’s Southern California Airspace Modernization Efforts

The project will include 99 new satellite-based procedures, which are a key part of the FAA’s NextGen system. The new procedures will consist of 41 departures, 37 arrivals, and 21 approaches. In addition, the project will expand the number of entry and exit points into and out of Southern California airspace, which encompasses 6 six major airports and 15 satellite airports.

According to the FAA, modernization is necessary because many of the current air traffic procedures are decades old. And while they’re not unsafe, they are inefficient and offer more limited flight paths as they rely on ground-based navigation. In addition, some procedures “require inefficient climbs and descents, or converge and occupy the same airspace.” As a result of this, the FAA says that air traffic controllers rely on vectoring to keep the aircraft safely separated, which in turn results in irregular and less predictable flight paths.

The new satellite-based procedures should allow for more optimized routing, with precisely adjusted routes, altitudes, and speeds, which should cut down on the need for vectoring. According to the FAA, this work is also laying the foundation for future improvements to safety and efficiency.

Finally, the FAA says that while some people might see aircraft flying where they didn’t previously, “the proposed action would not result in any significant or reportable noise increases under the National Environmental Policy Act.

If you’re interested in updates or tracking the progress of the project, you can visit the Socal Metroplex EA website.

Featured Image: Bill Abbott, CC2