Section 6. Aeronautical Study
An aeronautical study must be conducted to identify the impact of the SUA proposal on the safe and efficient use of airspace and ATC procedures.
- An aeronautical study is required for all prohibited area, restricted area, MOA, and warning area proposals, except those which reduce or revoke SUA, change the controlling or using agency, or make minor corrections to the legal description. The Service Center OSG determines whether to require an aeronautical study for alert area or NSA proposals. CFAs do not require an aeronautical study.
- The Service Center OSG must task the affected appropriate office(s) to conduct the aeronautical study. When applicable, coordinate with adjacent Service Centers for input. Appropriate offices must submit the completed study to the Service Center OSG. When input to the study from a military ATC facility is needed, the Service Center OSG must submit a request to the appropriate Service Center OSG military representative.
- For recurring temporary restricted area and MOA actions, such as periodic military exercises, a previous study may be used provided it has been reviewed for currency and updated as necessary.
- The Service Center OSG will review the study to determine if there are any aeronautical impacts to be resolved. The Service Center OSG may supplement the study as needed to include Service Center OSG perspective, cumulative effect analysis, etc. Coordinate the study findings with the proponent to explore possible options to mitigate any identified aeronautical impact.
- A copy of the study must be included with the SUA proposal package submitted to the Rules and Regulations Group, AJV-P2.
The Service Center OSG may specify the content and format of the study based on the type and extent of the SUA proposal. Suggested items include:
- Introduction. An overview of the existing airspace structure, airports, and types and volume of aeronautical activities currently operating in the airspace affected by the proposal.
- Impact on IFR and VFR Terminal Operations. Consider the proposal's impact on existing and proposed terminal procedures.
- Arrival and departure flows, SIDs/STARs, and approach and departure procedures.
- Airport traffic patterns, and Class C, D, and Class E airspace surface areas.
- Impact on public use and charted private airports (airports with FAA Form 5010 on file).
- Number and types of aircraft based.
- Amount of operations.
- The proposal's effect on airport access, capacity, and operations.
- Impact on IFR en route operations, including:
- IFR traffic flow.
- Existing ATS routes.
- Average daily traffic count on affected ATS routes.
- Feasibility of realigning ATS routes to accommodate the proposed SUA.
- Direct IFR routings.
- Impact on VFR operations, routes, and flyways. Consider the effect on charted VFR routes, and known, but uncharted, high-volume VFR routes or VFR flyways.
Although VFR pilots are not denied access to MOAs, the potential for aeronautical impact due to VFR pilots electing to deviate around the MOA when active should be evaluated when processing a MOA proposal. Consider the proposed MOA's size and location, and the extent of current non-participating VFR operations in the affected airspace.
- Impact on other pending proposals. Consider known airport development plans, ATC facility resectorization plans, other airspace or ATS route proposals, or instrument procedures currently being processed or on file.
- Cumulative Aeronautical Impact Assessment. Establishment of the proposed airspace may have broader effects beyond the immediate vicinity of the proposed airspace. Consider the overall impact of the proposal on aviation operations when combined with:
- Existing adjacent airspace such as Class B, C, or D areas, or other SUA.
- Existing geographical features such as large bodies of water, mountainous terrain, or obstructions that could influence the flight paths of nonparticipating aircraft or affect the ability of nonparticipating aircraft to circumnavigate the proposed SUA.
- Aviation safety issues, compression of air traffic, etc.
If the proposed SUA will contain aircraft operations, also consider the impact of routes to be used by the participating aircraft to enter/exit the SUA area.
- Associated ATCAA. If it is known that an ATCAA will be requested in conjunction with the proposed SUA, determine if use of the ATCAA would result in any additional aeronautical impact that should be considered.
- Alternatives. When adverse aeronautical impacts are identified consider measures or alternatives that could mitigate or lessen the impacts.
- ATC Facility Assessment. The ATC facility's assessment of a proposal's impact on aeronautical and facility operations.
- ATC services. Indicate whether the controlling agency plans to provide real-time SUA status information, allow transitions through the area by nonparticipating aircraft, or provide traffic advisories to nonparticipating pilots requesting such services. If the controlling agency agrees to advertise such service, provide facility identification and a VHF frequency to be depicted on aeronautical charts.
- Recommendations. Provide a recommendation for FAA action on the proposal.