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.

AERONAUTICAL

ENVIRONMENTAL

Pre-SUA Proposal

1. Proponent must coordinate with locally affected ATC facilities and military units to discuss the concept (for example, new/revisions to SUA needed or required).

1. The DoD Proponent must coordinate an environmental review of its proposal (for both rulemaking and non-rulemaking actions) with the appropriate FAA Service Center OSG Manager and Environmental Specialist early in the Proponent's environmental documentation process to determine the potential for environmental impacts associated with the airspace portion of the DoD proposal.

The Service Center Environmental Specialist is the FAA primary point of contact throughout the development of required environmental document reviews and required FAA adoption documentation. He/she is also responsible for ensuring DoD NEPA documents and FAA adoption NEPA documents comply with FAA Order 1050.1, paragraph 1-10.23, and Chapter 32, Environmental Matters, of this order.

2. Service Center Airspace Specialist coordinates with the Service Center Environmental Specialist to discuss the proposal's environmental review requirements.

2. If there is the potential for airspace environmental impacts1, Proponent must make a request to the FAA for a Cooperating Agency (CA) status when Proponent decides to initiate the NEPA documentation process. Proponent forwards a request for Cooperating Agency Status to the Director of Mission Support, Policy (AJV-P). Rules and Regulations Group Manager (AJV-P2) and the AJV-P21 Environmental Specialist will prepare and forward the response to the DoD Proponent and coordinate the action for tracking by the Mission Support Environmental Policy Team (AJV-P21) which sends a courtesy copy of FAA's Acceptance of Cooperating Agency Status to the responsible Service Center Environmental Specialist.

1 Establishment of new SUA, or changes to the dimensions, times of use, type of aircraft, or aircraft mix flown in SUA present the potential for environmental effects and must be properly analyzed for potential environmental impacts per FAA Order 1050.1 and Chapter 32, Environmental Matters, of this order.

3. Proponent meets with the ATC facility having jurisdiction over the affected airspace area to discuss mission requirements and desired SUA parameters.

 

 

3. Proponent submits a Preliminary Draft EA or Draft EIS (or other relevant environmental documentation), along with the aeronautical information package, to the Service Center Mil Rep, who shares it with the Environmental Specialist for review and comment. For previously reviewed and revised SUA actions, or proposals for re-activation of previously established SUA, the Service Center Environmental Specialist should request, and DoD Proponent should submit, previous environmental analysis documentation to the Service Center Environmental Specialist who will review and incorporate updated SUA information in the FAA Adoption document.

 

4. The Service Center Environmental Specialist must provide comments, in consultation with the Service Center Airspace Specialist and the Headquarters Airspace and Rules Team (AJV-P21), back to Proponent via the Service Center's Mil Rep and or other appropriate DoD project POC.

4. Proponent submits the SUA proposal to the FAA Service Center for review and processing by the Airspace Specialist.

5. After the Service Center Environmental Specialist reviews the DoD Proponent's draft environmental document to ensure that all airspace and other pertinent and applicable environmental issues were addressed per FAA Order 1050.1, the Service Center Environmental Specialist then forwards the DoD Proponent's draft environmental document to the FAA Headquarters Environmental Team (AJV-P21) for review and comment by the Headquarters Environmental Specialist and the Office of Chief Counsel (AGC-600) to begin Legal Sufficiency Review (LSR).

6. The Service Center Environmental Specialist then prepares a draft FAA Adoption EA or Adoption EIS of the DoD Proponent's airspace portion of the proposed action, and sends it to AJV-P21 for policy compliance review and to AGC for LSR.

5. The Service Center Airspace Specialist, in accordance with this order, determines the type of airspace action(s) necessary, either Non-Rulemaking or Rulemaking. FAA service center determines if Informal Airspace Meetings are required.

7. The DoD proponent reviews the FAA's comments on their Draft EA/FONSI or Draft EIS and prepares responses to comments, in consultation with FAA and other cooperating agencies as necessary, and in accordance with chapter 32 of this order. Proponent then incorporates FAA's comments into their NEPA document and prepares a Draft EA or EIS with a 30 to 45-day public comment period.

8. Proponent prepares and submits their Final EA/FONSI or EIS/ROD to the Service Center Environmental Specialist.

9. The Service Center Environmental Specialist amends, as necessary the Draft FAA Adoption EA-FONSI/ROD or Draft FAA Adoption EIS and ROD and submits the FAA's Adoption document to AJV-P21 for airspace review and to AGC for a final LSR.

10. AGC's comments are incorporated into the final FAA Adoption EA/FONSI or Adoption EIS/ROD by the Service Center Environmental Specialist in coordination with the AJV-P21 Environmental Specialist.

11. The AJV-P21 Environmental Specialist prepares a signature copy of the final FAA Adoption EA/FONSI or Adoption EIS/ROD and submits it for signature by the Headquarters Rules and Regulations Group Manager (AJV-P2). The AJV-P21 Environmental Specialist submits signed copies of the document(s) to the DoD Proponent's POC, to AJV-P21 for final rulemaking action, and to the Service Center Environmental Specialist for their records.

12. The Service Center Environmental Specialist submits the signed Final FAA Adoption EA and FONSI or Adoption EIS and FONSI/ROD with the Proponent's Final EA/FONSI or EIS/ROD to the Service Center Airspace Specialist for inclusion with the airspace proposal package, and provides a courtesy copy of the FAA's final Adoption document to the Service Center Mil Rep.

FOR NON-RULEMAKING

AERONAUTICAL

ENVIRONMENTAL

6. The Service Center Airspace Specialist:


a. Tasks the ATC facility to conduct an aeronautical study of the proposal;


b. Sends a circularization with a 45-day public comment period.


The Service Center Airspace Specialist reviews and prepares, in consultation with the DoD Proponent, responses to the aeronautical comments from the aeronautical study and circularization in accordance with chapter 21 of this order.


c. Coordinates with the Service Center Environmental Specialist regarding environmental documentation.

See process above. The environmental documentation review and development process is the same for non-rulemaking as for rulemaking.

7. The Service Center Airspace Specialist sends the completed package containing the aeronautical proposal, Aeronautical study, copies of comments, response to comments, DoD Proponent's Final EA/FONSI, and the Draft FAA FONSI/ROD, and a recommendation for final action to the Headquarters Airspace Policy Group.

FOR RULEMAKING

AERONAUTICAL

ENVIRONMENTAL

8. The Service Center Airspace Specialist:


a. Tasks the ATC facility to conduct an aeronautical study of the proposal;


b. Sends the proposal to the Airspace Policy Group who then prepares a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).


The Headquarters Airspace Policy Group submits the NPRM for publication in the Federal Register with a 45-day comment period in accordance with chapter 2 of this order.

The Airspace Specialist receives the environmental document from the Service Center Environmental Specialist.

See process above. The environmental documentation review and development process is the same for non-rulemaking as for rulemaking.

9. The Service Center Airspace Specialist reviews the comments on www.regulations.gov and coordinates with the proponent, as required, to resolve aeronautical impacts.

10. The Service Center Airspace Specialist then sends the completed package containing the aeronautical study, response to comments, final Service Center 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 Policy Group (AJV-P21) for preparation of the Final Rule.

11. The Service Center Airspace Specialist, in accordance with this order, determines the type of airspace action(s) necessary, either Non-Rulemaking or Rulemaking. FAA service center determines if Informal Airspace Meetings are required.

9. The Headquarters Environmental Specialist (AJV-P21) reviews the draft final rulemaking and draft Federal Register Notice for compliance with FAA Order 1050.1; chapter 32 of this order and this appendix; drafts the environmental compliance paragraph for the Federal Register Notice; then, as necessary, submits the changes to the environmental documentation to AGC-600 for legal sufficiency review.

10. AGC's comments are incorporated into the rulemaking document, returned to the AJV-P21 Environmental Team for a final review, and forwarded back to the AJV-P21 Airspace and Rules Team.

10. For Non-rulemaking:

The Airspace Specialist submits the non-rulemaking action to the Aeronautical Information Services (AIS) for publication in the National Flight Data Digest (NFDD).

 

11. For Rulemaking:

The Airspace Specialist submits the Final Rule for publication 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:

A. Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 40 C.F.R. Parts 1500-1508.
B. FAA Order 1050.1, Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures
C. FAA Order JO 7400.2, Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters, Part 5, Special Use Airspace
D. FAA Order JO 7400.2, Chapter 32, Environmental Matters, and the associated appendices (for specific SUA environmental documentation directions).

NOTE-

The documentation time periods below are approximations only, and are for non-controversial aeronautical proposals and associated environmental processes. The documentation time periods are for FAA review/processing only. Documentation schedules for DOD proponent and/or environmental contract support processing must be accounted for during overall document coordination scheduling between FAA and the DOD proponents.

ENVIRONMENTAL: 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 time period of 8 months is required from submission of the Formal Airspace Proposal by the Proponent to the Service Center through completion of the charting process.

AERONAUTICAL (Rulemaking): A minimum time period of 10 months is required from submission of the Formal Airspace proposal by the Proponent to the Service Center through completion of the chart- ing process.