U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION

ORDER
JO 7400.2J
Effective Date:
February 9, 2012
 
     

Subject:  Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters
Includes:  Change 3 effective 8/22/13, Change 2 effective 3/7/13, Change 1 effective 7/26/12 and  Errata effective 2/9/12.

 

Section 4. Processing Rulemaking Airspace Actions

2-4-1. PURPOSE

This section prescribes procedures to be followed when taking rulemaking actions to establish, modify, or revoke regulatory airspace.

2-4-2. RESPONSIBILITY

a. Airspace Regulations and ATC Procedures Group is responsible for processing the following actions: Class A, B, and C airspace areas; special use airspace; offshore airspace areas; airways; jet routes; and those Class D and E airspace areas that overlie U.S. territories and possessions.

b. The Operations and Air Traffic Law Branch, AGC-220, is responsible for ensuring that the airspace cases listed in paragraph a, above, meet the requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act.

c. Service area offices are responsible for processing all Class D and E airspace area cases.

d. The Assistant Chief Counsel for each region is responsible for ensuring that all regional airspace cases meet the requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act.

2-4-3. DOCKETS

a. Docket Location.

1. The official docket for both Headquarters' and regional/service area office rulemaking cases must be maintained at the Docket Management System, U.S. Department of Transportation, Room Plaza 401, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590-0001.

2. The Docket Management System (DMS) can also be accessed on the internet at http://dms.dot.gov.

b. Docket Identification.

1. Rulemaking cases must be identified by two docket numbers. The first, an FAA docket number, includes the acronym FAA; the current year; and a consecutively assigned number (e.g., FAA-2003-14010). The second, an airspace docket number, includes the last two digits of the calendar year; the abbreviation of the originating office; and a consecutively assigned number (e.g., 00-ASW-46).

2. Numbers must run consecutively within each calendar year.

c. Docket Content. The official docket must include all petitions, notices, rules, comments, correspondence, and related material concerning the case (other than working files).

2-4-4. FLIGHT PROCEDURAL DATA

a. If an airspace docket requires a procedure change and/or flight inspection, service area office must coordinate the proposed effective date with the Operations Support Group, Flight Procedures Team (FPT). The proposed effective date must consider the time needed to process procedural changes and allow ample time for flight inspection, if required. The FPT must notify the service area office of any problems that could affect the proposed effective date. See Order 8260.26, Establishing and Scheduling Standard Instrument Procedure Effective Dates, for scheduled processing and publication dates.

b. If a rule without notice is to be issued and flight check data is required, the service area office must inform the responsible FPT of the action and specific data requested.

2-4-5. SUBMISSION OF AIRSPACE CASES TO HEADQUARTERS

a. The service area office must review the action proposed and submit a complete technical description of the proposed airspace (e.g., establishment, modification, or revocation) package to Airspace Regulations and ATC Procedures Group.

b. All background information including charts, proper justification and appropriate recommendations must be submitted.

c. If an airspace action needs to be completed by a specific date, the service area office must coordinate with the FPT and any other FAA offices as necessary to ensure that sufficient lead-time exists for meeting normal airspace procedural processing and charting requirements, and instrument approach procedure development.

d. The service area office must submit to Airspace Regulations and ATC Procedures Group written comments received in response to the proposed action, analysis of the comment(s), and any recommendations within 30 days after the comment closing date. If applicable, a statement concerning the status of the flight procedures data (e.g., Minimum En Route Altitude, MEA; or Change Over Point, COP) for en route cases must be included.

2-4-6. EFFECTIVE DATE OF FINAL RULES

a. Amendments to parts 71 and 73 must be made effective at 0901 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and must coincide with en route charting dates as furnished by Airspace Regulations and ATC Procedures Group. Exceptions are as follows:

1. Safety or national interest actions that require an earlier effective time or date.

2. Editorial changes.

3. 700-foot floor Class E airspace areas that underlie existing 1,200-foot Class E airspace areas.

4. Actions that lessen the burden on the public (e.g., revocation of restricted areas).

5. Class B and C airspace areas must be made effective on days that coincide with the appropriate sectional aeronautical charting dates.

b. Cutoff dates are established to allow sufficient time for charting and chart distribution purposes. Rules should be signed on or before the applicable cutoff date.

2-4-7. PUBLICATION IN FEDERAL REGISTER

An original Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and three copies, or an original final rule and seven copies must be forwarded to AGC-200 for publication in the Federal Register.

2-4-8. DISTRIBUTION

Distribution of airspace dockets (NPRMs and final rules) must be consistent with the procedures set forth in Order 1720.18, FAA Distribution System.

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