U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION

ORDER
JO 7400.2K
Effective Date:
April 3, 2014
 
     

Subject:  Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters

 

Appendix 4. FAA Procedures for Processing SUA Actions Aeronautical and Environmental Summary Table

(The aeronautical and environmental processes may not always occur in parallel.)

(This Appendix is for use with Appendix 2 and Appendix 3, and the numbers correlate to numbers on those charts.)

(See note below.)

AERONAUTICAL

ENVIRONMENTAL

1. Proponent must present to the Facility a Pre-draft concept (i.e., new/ revisions to SUA needed or required).

 

1. Proponent must discuss with the Service Area, at the earliest time, the potential for environmental impacts associated with the proposal.

 

 

2. If there is the potential for environmental impacts, Proponent must make a request to the FAA for a Cooperating Agency (CA) status when Proponent decides to initiate the environmental process. Proponent must forward the request to the Director of the Mission Support, Airspace Services. The Director will transmit the request to the Airspace Management Group who prepares and forwards the response to Proponent. The Airspace Management Group will send a courtesy copy of the response to the responsible Service Area. The Service Area environmental specialist works as the FAA point of contact throughout the process in development of any required environmental documentation.

 

 

 

3. Proponent submits a Preliminary Draft EA or EIS to the Service Area environmental specialist.

 

The Service Area environmental specialist must provide comments, in consultation with the airspace specialist and the Airspace Management Group, back to Proponent.

2. Proponent forwards the aeronautical proposal to the FAA Service Area for review and processing by the airspace specialist.

 

 

4. Proponent prepares a Draft EA or EIS with a 45-day public comment period.

As the FAA CA point of contact, the Service Area environmental specialist reviews the associated draft environmental documentation to ensure that the Proponent addressed adequately all environmental concerns submitted on the Preliminary Draft. If required, the Service Area environmental specialist forwards the draft environmental documentation to the Airspace Management Group for review and comment by the headquarters environmental specialist and the Office of Chief Counsel.

3. The Service Area airspace specialist, in accordance with this order, determines the type of airspace action(s) necessary, either Non-Rulemaking or Rulemaking. FAA Service Area and Proponent determine if informal Airspace Meetings are required.

 

For Non-Rulemaking:

4. The Service Area airspace specialist sends out a circularization with a 45-day public comment period. The Service Area airspace specialist reviews and prepares, in consultation with the Proponent, responses to the aeronautical comments from the study and circularization in accordance with Chapter 21 of this order.

5. The Proponent reviews comments received on their Draft EA/FONSI or EIS and prepares their responses to the comments, in consultation with the FAA and other cooperating agencies, if necessary, and in accordance with Chapter 32 of this order.

 

6. Proponent prepares and submits their Final EA/FONSI or EIS/ROD to the Service Area environmental specialist.

 

7. The Service Area environmental specialist prepares a Draft FAA FONSI/ROD or Draft FAA Adoption Document/ROD.

 

8. The Service Area environmental specialist submits the Draft FAA FONSI/ROD or Draft FAA Adoption Document/ROD and the Proponent's Final EA/FONSI or EIS/ROD to the Service Area airspace specialist for inclusion with the airspace proposal package.

5. The Service Area airspace specialist then sends the completed package containing the aeronautical proposal, response to comments, Proponent's Final EA/FONSI, and the Draft FAA FONSI/ROD to the Headquarters Airspace Regulations and ATC Procedures Group with their recommendation.

 

For Rulemaking:

6. The Service Area airspace specialist sends the proposal to the Airspace Regulations and ATC Procedures Group who prepares a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). The Headquarters Airspace Regulations and ATC Procedures Group submits the NPRM for publication in the Federal Register with a 45-day comment period in accordance with Chapter 2 of this order.

 

7. The Headquarters airspace specialist sends comments received on the NPRM to the Service Area airspace specialist for resolution.

 

8. The Service Area airspace specialist then sends the completed package containing the response to comments, final service area recommendation, the proposal, Proponent's Final EA/FONSI or EIS/ROD, and the Draft FAA FONSI/ROD or Draft FAA Adoption Document/ROD to the Headquarters Airspace Regulations and ATC Procedures Group for preparation of the Final Rule.

 

9. The Headquarters airspace specialist forwards the draft final rule package or draft non-rulemaking case summary (NRCS) with all supporting documentation to the Headquarters Airspace Management Group for review (after all aeronautical comments have been resolved).

 

9. The Headquarters environmental specialist reviews the package for environmental technical accuracy; then submits the environmental documentation to the Office of the Chief Counsel, Airports and Environmental Law Division, for legal sufficiency review (having collaborated throughout the process).

 

10. The Chief Counsel's environmental attorney's comments are incorporated into the final FAA environmental decision and signed by Headquarters Airspace Management Group Manager.

 

The package is then returned to the Headquarters Airspace Regulations and ATC Procedures Group.

10. For Non-rulemaking:

The non-rulemaking action is published in the National Flight Data Digest (NFDD).

 

11. For Rulemaking:

The Final Rule is published in the Federal Register. The Final Rule will contain a reference to the decision rendered and location of documentation for the associated environmental process.

 

Consult the following documents throughout the process for further information:

l Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 40 CFR Parts 1500-1508

l FAA Order 1050.1E, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures"

l FAA Order 7400.2, “Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters," Part 5

l FAA Order 7400.2, Chapter 32, “Environmental Matters" and the associated appendixes (for specific SUA environmental direction)

NOTE: The time periods below are for a non-controversial aeronautical proposal and its associated environmental process. The time periods are for FAA review/processing only. Times for proponent and/or environmental contract support processing must be added.

ENVIRONMENTAL: The estimated time of completion for EA processing is 12 to 18 months or, for EIS processing, 18 to 36 months.

AERONAUTICAL (Non-Rulemaking): A minimum 4 months is required from submission of the Formal Airspace Proposal by the Proponent to the Service Area through completion of the circularization process. Additionally, a minimum of 6 months is required from submission of the Formal Airspace Proposal by the Service Area to Headquarters through completion of the charting process.

AERONAUTICAL (Rulemaking): A minimum 6 weeks for Service Area processing, and a minimum of 9 months to complete rulemaking once the formal package is received at Headquarters.

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